off on a soils field trip

Tomorrow I’ll be off on a field trip to Pemberton to talk about geomorphology and soils and such. It’s pretty cool to talk about geomorphology because it’s where the cool stuff is at, I think, in the talk. The stories. Like look at this big tongue of jostled rock, and see where it came from, and how far it lapped up on the other side of the valley. Look at these columns of basalt and see how their presence changes the way the river erodes its banks, a winding flow that constantly changes its environment. Soon maybe I will have a post with less poetry and more direct experiences of the places we’re going. Here’s a tiny compilation of pictures from hahatango on Flickr that is an exaggerated example of the stuff we might see on our way to Pemberton:












Columnar basalts form when there’s a large amount of basalt that cools quickly from the top down. The basalt will contract as it cools, and while it’s easy to contract in the vertical direction, it’s not easy to contract horizontally. Fractures form and because of the underlying crystal structure that develops as the basalt cools, they often form in such a way as to create six-sided columns. This website has even more super cool pictures:

~ by academicadventurer on September 28, 2012.

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