A couple cool news stories.

Activity discovered at Yellowstone Supervolcano – I talked about supervolcanos a while back. Don’t worry, it’s still in no danger of blowing up any time soon. (And here, we’re talking geologically soon, which is a much, much longer span of time than a human soon.) The two cool things in this article are the discovery ...

Arkose & Alluvial Fans

Today was my second field trip with my Sed Strat class. We went up to Settlers’ Park to look at some exposed facies there. (A Facies is a group of sedimentary structures you see in a rock that points to a particular environment that the sediment was deposited in.) If you’re ever in the Boulder ...

Why you should love sedimentary rocks.

New year, new semester, new tax return, new FAFSA. Where does the time go? Mineralogy last semester ended well, though I can’t say I’m sorry to see it done. It takes a special kind of person to want to spend all your time staring into a petrographic microscope and thinking about 3-D crystalline forms. I ...

Liquid Water on Mars

NASA has just released a statement saying that they’ve got good evidence of liquid water making an appearence on Mars some time in the last seven years. BBC News Story This is very exciting for several reasons. There is water on Mars that we know of, but it’s all locked in ice. (As an aside, ...

HiRISE is made of win.

Finals are about to eat my brain. I had no idea school was just so exhausting. But this cheers my day – and hopefully will cheer yours too! HiRISE High resolution images of the surface of Mars, some in color, some in grayscale. The files are enormous, and worth it. You end up with a ...

70 million year old soft tissue.

Remember: scientists love it when the impossible happens. (At least when the impossible happens in an observable, empirical fashion.) It’s time for us to rethink our understanding of the process of fossilization. As we understand it now, this would have been impossible – but it happened! So now we need to work out the how ...

What the space shuttle has done for you lately.

Yep, the space shuttle. And yet, it must be geology related – I’m writing about it, aren’t I? There’s a nifty piece over at the Planetary Society blog about the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. Basically, they got near-global topographical maps of the Earth out of this – more detailed than ever before! Topography is very ...

Time for a little juvenile humor.

Ready for some geology humor? Of course you are! While doing my mineralogy homework today, I discovered that there’s a fun mineral, called Realgar. It’s very pretty, which deep red, prismatic crystals. (Prismatic means that it forms with very flat surfaces.) Realgar is Arsenic Sulfide. Which, if you know your periodic table, you’ll be way ...

Touching history.

Just a short one – I’m still alive, I swear. School just started, which is very exciting. I’m taking Mineralogy, which thus far has been a very exciting class. We’re doing “Adopt a mineral” where we pick out a mineral at the start of class, and write a paper about it at the end. Mine ...

Polar Wandering

No, it’s not about poor explorers wandering across a featurless plain of snow, searching for the South Pole so they can have bragging rights to go with their frostbite when they get home. I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while, just because it’s so cool! It starts out very simply. There’s a ...