The final exam is scheduled for Dec. 12-15. It may be placed online Sunday to give students a head start. Check here or course schedule for a link.
From Sophia McCall: I found this article about climate change moving the North Pole. Instructor's note: this mechanism is trivial over geological time.
From Logan Smith: Sunday a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck New Zealand. Go to USGS.
MS research: Megan Sprague will present her MS research project on The Geology and Geomorphology of the Area of the Mine Creek Battlefield Historical Site and the Effects of These Features on the Civil War Battle of Mine Creek, Kansas. Wednesday, 3 o'clock, SH room 123. She employed a combination of geospatial analysis and ground-based geology.
From Sawyer Green: I found this interesting article about tectonic stress on Mars.
From Alan Peterson: This isn't part of my thesis, but it is a newer paper on a concept covered in it. I though that you might be interested in some of the concepts and visuals. The images are excellent. See transfer faults.
From Gina Manders (former student): did you feel last evening's earthquake? We had another big one in Oklahoma. This one was in Cushing, OK and it caused considerable damage. The quake was very obvious here in Miami--picture frames and vases shook to the point you could hear them moving and it lasted longer than earlier ones. This latest one should cause concern because Cushing is a pipeline crossroads and there were reported gas leaks. Here are details from Tulsa World.
MS thesis: Alan Peterson will present his thesis on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 11 o'clock in SH 110. Title: Investigations of structural features overlying the Nemaha Fault Zone in east-central Kansas using modern geospatial techniques and data. He utilized a combination of remote sensing and ground-based structural methods for his research.
From Logan Smith: Study suggests that early 20th century earthquakes in southern California may have been man-made quakes.
From Katy Schwinghamer: Another earthquake struck central Italy this morning. The epicenter of this 6.6 magnitude quake was near the city of Norcia.
|From Christopher Allen: During our hike up Trinchera Peak I saw a great spot to render in oil pastels. Not everyone had a chance to have a look at it, so I figured it could be placed on the blog alongside photographs from our field trip to Colorado. The view of this painting is from the area we stopped to rest before making our way above the treeline. © C. Allen.|
|Measuring strike and dip (left) in the Sangre de Cristo Formation at Windy Point, La Veta Pass. On the crest of the Culebra Range (right) at the English Saddle (~12,600 ft) in a fierce wind.|
|At the abandoned mine prospect on the side of Trinchera Peak, we observed fossil trackways and raindrop impressions in a vertical sandstone bed (left). In the mine shaft, we were surprised to find rare ice formations (right).|
|In the alpine zone, we saw pika (Ochotona princeps) and white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura). Ptarmigan have mottled brown and white plumage in the summer, and turn pure white for the winter. These two ptarmigan appear to be in transition from summer to winter coloration.|
Now back to campus, our subject this week is stress and strain; see gt_chap03.pdf. We will start lab 9 (due next week). The second field exercise at La Veta Pass is due before class session on Thursday.
Review the Rocky Mountain guide. The long-range weather forecast looks quite favorable. Temperature range from ~30 to ~70 F, lots of sun, and little chance for rain/snow.
Silva field compasses will be provided; at least a few students should bring laptops with stereonet software. For further details about trip conditions, see living arrangements. WiFi is available; land-line phone: 719-742-5716. Sleeping arrangements:
|Spanish Peaks (center) and Culebra Range (left). Our "base camp" at Cuchara indicated by asterisk (*). Note the prominent dikes surrounding Spanish Peaks.|
|Mesita is a small volcano in upper center of scene. It is the youngest volcanic feature (~1 million years old) in the San Luis Valley. The volcano is situated on a prominent fault.|
For additional background reading about the San Luis Valley, we have selected chapters from a GSA field-trip guidebook. Go to the course FTP site. Download the pdf files from the San Luis folder. Note some of these files are quite large!
From Dusty Gutierrez: The California Office of Emergency Services has issued an earthquake advisory warning for several counties in California. There is a 1 percent chance of a magnitude 7 earthquake on the southern San Andreas fault within the next seven days-about 600 times higher than a normal risk.
Thursday, Oct. 6, from 10 - 11:20 o'clock in SH 123 representatives from the Kansas Board of Technical Professionals will visit the Environmental Geology class to discuss Professional Geology licensure. Students from other courses are welcome to attend; this is an excellent opportunity to learn more about professional geology.
From Katy Schwinghamer: A swarm of nearly 200 earthquakes hit the Salton Sea area throughout the day and into the evening on Monday. The Salton Sea lies on the San Andres Fault and is prone to earthquake swarms due to the constant stretching of the crust from movement of the Pacific and North American plates.
From Dusty Gutierrez: The article is from 2012 and talks about earthquake research regarding the Rio Grande Rift Valley and how Colorado’s central Rocky Mountains to Mexico is geologically alive and active. The Rio Grande Rift Valley extends from southern Colorado to New Mexico. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains runs north to south along the east side of the Rio Grande Rift.
|During the first week of October, your instructor will host Assoc. Prof. Toshiro (Toshi) Nagasako, who comes to us from Kagoshima University, Japan. His field of expertise is geography, and he is most interested in learning about kite aerial photography (KAP) for environmental investigations. He will be on campus Oct. 3-6. He hopes to sit in on some class sessions and to take some local field trips.|
Note: there will be no on-campus class meeting next week on account of Toshiro Nagasako's visit. Next week's readings and lab exercise 8 are postponed to the following week. Also remember the mid-term exam is coming up Oct. 10-13.
From Gayla Corley: This was an interesting article from Smithsonian—see motorcycle in BC. It tells about how the Pacific currents move, which was quite interesting to me. Have read about other things from the Japanese tsunami ending up on US and Canadian west coat.
Note: the Physical Sciences fall picnic is this Wednesday. Free for all physical/earth science students; sign up in PS office (SH 133).
From Justin Abel: The potential for an earthquake may be enhanced by tidal stress.
From Katy Schwinghamer: A small earthquake with a magnitude 3.5 was felt Friday in southeast Missouri near the New Madrid Fault. The fault has become more active in recent years.
Another quake update from Gina Manders: It seems the quake released more energy than our other 5.6 quake in 2011. Today's paper noted the quake allowed scientists to map several of its aftershocks that pointed to an undiscovered fault line. The magnitude 5.6 quake occurred on the previously unknown fault that is connected to a larger known fault that may be tens of km to 100 km long. USGS noted this exceptionally large fault system could host a 6.0 quake and they are anticipating sizeable aftershocks in the coming weeks. See Tulsa World.
From Gina Manders (former student): just wondering if you felt our OK earthquake this morning in Emporia. They say it ties with the strongest ever recorded in OK at 5.6! Mike and I experienced two episodes about 7 (supposedly the quake happened at 7:02)--the second was worse--likely aftershocks? We heard a roar both times before we felt the quake! Our daughter felt it in Gentry, Arkansas and a friend felt it in Joplin, MO. Here are details from the Tulsa World. The energy people still deny a link to their activities, of course.
|Silva field compass for measuring strike (left) and dip (right) on an inclined rock surface. Strike is represented by a horizontal line in the planar surface, and dip is the angle of downward tilting. In this case, strike/dip = 180/18° according to the right-hand rule. We measured three more surfaces on other boulders with the following results: 150/20°, 14/20° and 25/18°.|
From Gayla Corley (former student): Have you heard of slow earthquakes? I was sent this article and thought it might interesting.
Notice: Your instructor has announced to faculty colleagues and administrators that this will be his last year as a full-time professor at ESU. Retirement will take place at the end of this academic year, May 2017.
|Pińon Hills overview (left) and closer shot (right) in the Conejos Formation. These hills are irregular in size and shape; they are supported by andesite flows and intrusions of brick-red color. This vicinity is a likely site for our fall-break field trip. Photos © JSA.|
|Aerial overview of Flat Top hill (left) which is capped by flows of the Hinsdale Basalt. Ground shot (right) with basalt boulders in the foreground. The small bush with yellow flowers is rubber rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa), a member of the Aster family.|
|Blanca Peak reaches 14,345 feet; alluvial fan in foreground is ~7800 feet. Blanca Peak Road is on the left (note vehicle and trailer for scale), which we may take on our field trip. The alluvial fans flanking Blanca Peak are active geomorphic features.|
|Views of alluvial fans on the south (left) and west (right) sides of Blanca Peak. Note the slightly concave surface that slopes away from the mountain.|
|The middle portion of the fan contains cobble gravel (left). Lower portions of the fan are covered by sand and prickly pear cactus (right). Be prepared with appropriate footwear.|
|Summer is monsoon season in southern Colorado with rain and/or thunderstorms almost everyday. Double rainbow over the Dike of Profile Rock near La Veta. All photos © JSA.|
|Overviews of the chalk cliffs on the island of Rügen. The cliff section extends for several km and is >100 m high in places. The island of Rügen has often been compared with Mřns Klint on the opposite side of the Baltic in Denmark, a similar series of large, uplifted, and deformed chalk bodies.|
|Closer shots of the chalk cliffs on the island of Rügen. Left: wedge of till between two chalk bodies. Right: two tallest chalk cliffs, including Victoria's View on left and the King's Chair on right, both more than 100 m tall. Photos © J.S. Aber.|
|Typical power outlet sockets and plug for Slovakia and Poland along with some adapters for American plugs. American plugs include types A and B; most of Europe utilizes types C, E and F—see plug-and-socket types.|
|Left: overview of the Pieniny Klippen Belt (right) and Inner Carpathian Paleogene flysch basin (left). Right: close-up shot of limestone hogback within the klippen belt.|
|Left: limestone complexly deformed along with red shale and sandstone in the klippen belt. Right: strongly folded sandstone and shale of Inner Carpathian Paleogene Basin. These strata were deposited in submarine fans during the Eocene and subsequently deformed by the collision between Europe and the Apulian terrane.|
|High cliffs along the Dunajec River (left), and complexly folded limestone (right). The limestone was emplaced by thrust faulting into a long, narrow zone known as the Pieniny Klippen Belt, which separates the inner and outer portions of the Carpathians.|
|Left: overview looking northward. The Rio Grande enters from upper left and exits to right. Snow-capped Blanca Peak in far background. Right: delta form of the Rio Grande.|
|Close-up view of cattle grazing on wet meadows (left), and conducting kite aerial photography on BLM public land beside the Rio Grande (right).|
|Overview (left) and closer shot (right) looking downstream toward the south. The Rio Grande enters a canyon through the San Luis Hills.|
|Left: Profs. Juraj Janocko (right) and Stanislav Jacko. Ourcrop of young, intrusive, porphyritic basalt in the San Luis Hills, Colorado. Right: deep canyon of the Rio Grande cuts through thick basaltic lava flows in northern New Mexico.|
Next week, your instructor will travel to Slovakia for the second half of the exchange with a focus on the Carpathian Mountain system. This exchange is funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union.
After continued travel in Poland and Sweden, he will return to the U.S. in July. Email contact will be intermittent during this period.
|Anticline with a fault on the left side. Photo © C. Kraft.|
Note: enrollment is limited to 10 students, due to logistical considerations, so interested students should enroll early.
Return to advanced tectonics syllabus.
© J.S. Aber (2016).