Wooster Geologists in the Negev

June 4th, 2010

Andrew Retzler (Wooster, Ohio) and Micah Risacher (Westerville, Ohio). Wooster seniors deep in the desert of southern Israel and loving it.

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL — Andrew Retzler, Micah Risacher and I arrived in southern Israel yesterday evening after a 24-hour journey from Wooster.  (My boots still have Mississippi mud on them, by the way.)  Our primary mission on this trip is to collect data for Andrew and Micah’s Senior Independent Study projects.  Like Megan Innis on the southern USA trip last month, they are studying Late Cretaceous sediments and fossils.  The K/T boundary here is not as dramatic as it is in Alabama (it is far more erosional in the Middle East), but it is still impressive to easily step between the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Eras.

Field area for the Negev team just north of Makhtesh Ramon, Israel.

We are staying in the little desert town of Mitzpe Ramon, which looks a lot like my treasured hometown of Barstow, California.  Mitzpe Ramon is perched on the northern rim of Makhtesh Ramon, a beautiful breached anticlinal erosion structure sometimes called “the Grand Canyon of Israel”.  We are working with my longtime colleague and friend Yoav Avni of the Geological Survey of Israel, who lives in Mitzpe Ramon and is an outstanding expert on Negev geology and geomorphology.  We will also be joined by Stuart Chubb, a PhD student in the geology program at Birkbeck College, London.  He is working on Cretaceous sharks along ancient depth gradients.

Mitzpe Ramon, Israel.

Hot here, of course, but not so bad with the light breezes and quick-cooling evenings.  We are very much looking forward to the adventures ahead of us.

Makhtesh Ramon as seen from the town of Mitzpe Ramon.

4 Responses to “Wooster Geologists in the Negev”

  1. Peter Pozefskyon 04 Jun 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Beautiful pictures. Can’t wait to see what you find!

  2. […] one of the Wooster Geology themes this summer. We saw it in Alabama and Mississippi in May, and in Israel in June. The view of it here in The Netherlands, though, is far different. We explored it from […]

  3. […] add that I visited the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary this past summer in Alabama, Mississippi, Israel and The Netherlands, so I’m passionate about this story! We will briefly introduce as well […]

  4. […] Formation (Upper Cretaceous again) is a chert-rich unit unconformably above the Gerofit here. Andrew Retzler and Micah Risacher, who worked in the region two years ago, will immediately ask, where are the Zichor and Menuhah […]

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