Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weird Geology?

So the topic for Accretionary Wedge #34 is "Weird Geology." So I've been thinking about what strikes me as "weird." As a budding geologist, there were odd things, but I'm wracking my brain to put details to what specific concepts really weirded me out... for now, let me share with you something I see as the "weirdest" geo-topic in my mind right now. Molten Rock.


My wife and I took a trip to Hawai'i last year, and we got to (barely) watch the eruption. The idea that there is enough heat within the earth to melt rock - and that this melt can reach the surface still amazes me. The landscapes are also so foreign to a geologist raised on the North American Craton, what with the shallow dipping layers of sedimentary rock lying atop igneous-metamorphic crustal basement rocks.

The barren landscape inside the Haleakala crater is very alien to what I'm familiar with.

In fact, if you shift the blues in the sky towards red, you could almost imagine you were walking across the surface of Mars...

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