Category Archives: Geology

SCOTTISH AGATES

A variety of spectacular Scottish agates from Alan Mason. The titles of the illustrations are my own, but the details are from “Agates” by A C Bishop and W D I Rolfe, published by National Museum of Scotland and British … Continue reading

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Antelope Canyon

antelope-canyon

Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon in the American Southwest. It is located on Navajo land east of Page, Arizona. Antelope Canyon includes two separate, photogenic slot canyon sections, referred to individually as Upper Antelope Canyon or The Crack; and … Continue reading

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Rock Optical Illusion

In this lovely Scottish rock specimen of Marine Agate (probably born in bubbles in basalts that were erupted some 400 million years ago during the closure of the Iapetus Ocean) it looks like we are looking through a window into … Continue reading

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Caledonian folding

Back in the early Cambrian some 500 million years ago, the continental dance had an active phase that resulted in the assembling of many of the plate fragments that form the bedrock beneath the European continent. Chunks of rock that … Continue reading

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New Lava Dome

new lava dome

This photo shows a newly formed lava dome on Mount Cleveland in the Aleutian Range of southwest Alaska. Magma is reaching the surface and cooling in a circular pattern; not that you’d want to go for a stroll there – … Continue reading

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The White Stairs

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This amazing site is a beach in southern Sicily known as Scala dei Turchi. It is a popular beach and tourist destination, both for the views and for the water, which is rich in sedimentary mud coming from the exposed … Continue reading

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Ball’s Pyramid

Ball’s Pyramid

An isolated pillar of rock thrusting up from the southern Pacific Ocean is said to be the highest rock pinnacle in the world. Looking at it on a map, the tiny dot that marks Ball’s Pyramid is almost lost in … Continue reading

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Thornton Force – 170 million years in 14 metres

Thornton force is a 14m waterfall on the River Twiss; located in the Ingleton Waterfalls group in Yorkshire, UK. The waterfall drops from horizontal limestone (deposited 330 million years ago) onto dipping sandstone deposited 500 million years ago. This means … Continue reading

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Rockfall

rockfall

Like most scientists, geologists are classifiers. We break all sorts of features into different groups based on their properties; soils, weather patterns, volcanoes, you name it we can classify it. This image is a particular type of a mass movement … Continue reading

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The Australian Opal

opal

On the 1st of February 1915, 14-year-old Willie Hutchinson was searching for water in the Australian Outback. Suddenly the boy came across small white glimmering stones, unlike anything he’d seen before. Willie had just discovered what would become Coober Pedy, … Continue reading

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Himalayan ‘drop after Nepal quake’

The height of a swathe of the Himalayas has dropped by around one metre as a result of the devastating Nepal earthquake, scientists say. But they add that the drop will roughly be balanced by slow uplift due to tectonic … Continue reading

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Calbuco Volcano In Eruption Southern Chile

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William Smith: Seminal geology map re-discovered

williamsmith geology map

 Click to enlarge A first edition copy of one of the most significant maps in the history of science has been re-discovered in time for an important anniversary. William Smith’s 1815 depiction of the geology of England, Wales and part … Continue reading

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Volcanic lightning storms are creating perfect crystal balls

Image: A glass ball formed during their experiment. Credit: Genareau et al., 2015

Image: A glass ball formed during their experiment. Credit: Genareau et al., 2015 Scientists have discovered tiny, perfectly round spheres of glass in the ash left over from volcanic explosions, and say they could be the key to understanding how … Continue reading

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Blood Falls

If you can put up with this guys really annoying presentation, the information imparted is quite interesting. – Deskarati

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This Chunk Of Fool’s Gold Naturally Formed In These Cubes

The golden color and shine of iron pyrite (which is responsible for its nickname, “fool’s gold”) may grab all the attention. But, there is another element of its appearance that is every bit as dramatic: It’s tendency to form into … Continue reading

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Under Pressure

This is the Idol Rock, a classic balanced stone located in the Nidderdale “Area of Outstanding National Beauty” in Yorkshire, UK. The rock is made of layers of the “Millstone grit”, a set of carboniferous-aged sedimentary rocks found throughout Northern … Continue reading

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The unique geology of Macquarie Island

macquarie island

Macquarie Island is located in the south-west Pacific Ocean, between Australia and New Zealand, and officially belongs to the Australian state of Tasmania. The island is tiny, only 5 km (3.1 mi) wide and 35 km (21.7 mi) long, covering … Continue reading

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New, tighter timeline confirms ancient volcanism aligned with dinosaurs’ extinction

A definitive geological timeline shows that a series of massive volcanic explosions 66 million years ago spewed enormous amounts of climate-altering gases into the atmosphere immediately before and during the extinction event that claimed Earth’s non-avian dinosaurs, according to new … Continue reading

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The Holocene

Paleogeographic reconstruction of the North Sea approximately 9,000 years ago during the early Holocene and after the end of the last ice age.

Further to my post recently on geological periods, I thought you might be interested in the period we are in now – The Holocene. It turns out that this also breaks down into smaller time scales known as chronozones and … Continue reading

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