Archive for July 13th, 2010

Mishaps with Hammers

July 13th, 2010

Today was definitely another adventure in the field. Although we didn’t travel far from our home base in Ephraim (less than 1 mile from home), there was plenty of excitement. We tackled the Green River Formation at Gal Hill, which provided a 60 foot strat column of wonderful carbonates (and a 4 foot tuff bed).

Above is a scenic photo of Gal Hill.  The thick, massive bed about 8-10 feet off the road is a air fall tuff.  The stromatolite layer that we targeted is immediately below the tuff.  Poor stromatolites...they never had a chance!!

Above is a scenic photo of Gal Hill. The thick, massive bed about 8-10 feet off the road is a air fall tuff. The stromatolite layer that we targeted is immediately below the tuff. Poor stromatolites...they never had a chance!!

Of course, stratigraphy is all serious business, as Elizabeth and Jesse prove in the photo below:

Wooster's rock climbing team hard at work.

Wooster's rock climbing team hard at work.

We had to bring out “The Big Dog”, Jesse’s mega sledge hammer for some of our work today, as we needed to sample a continuous silicified stromatolite layer exposed along Gal Hill.

Elizabeth shows her enthusiasm for the silicified stromatolite layer, which is at hand level in this photo.

Elizabeth shows her enthusiasm for the silicified stromatolite layer, which is at hand level in this photo.

Throughout the morning, Jesse used the mega sledge hammer, chisels, and regular rock hammers to extricate a number of beautiful laterally linked and small domal stromatolites that we were measuring. In the end, though, I’m not too sure who came out on top: Jesse or the stromatolites.

Our motto of the day:  No pain, no gain!!

Our motto of the day: No pain, no gain!!

Ohio, Some Fun, A Little Bit of Geology, and Back

July 13th, 2010

Guest Blogger: Jesse Davenport

We always hear about how all geologists have the opportunity to go to fantastic places in far away lands. Or at least that was what I thought, while I envied my professors from afar. However, this summer I have had the opportunity to travel across the United States, on a road trip no less. From conquering Grays Peak, Torreys Peak, and Pikes Peak in Colorado to backpacking 83 miles in 10 days in the New Mexico backcountry (not to mention being attacked by a black bear) to spending a few days in the Sawtooth National Forest, to climbing Mt St. Helens and Mt. Rainier, and back to central Utah. And yet my trip isn’t even halfway complete. After assisting Dr. Judge and Elizabeth in her I.S. fieldwork, I will then head to southwestern Montana to begin my fieldwork in the Tobacco Root Mountains, where I will be working with Archean metamorphic and igneous rocks, some of the oldest you can find in North America. Being able to drive everywhere also has had a number of exciting perks. I have visited Colorado School of Mines and University of Utah, two schools I have looked at and am very interested in for graduate school for a Mining Engineering degree. I will also have the opportunity to visit the Bingham Canyon Cooper mine near Provo, Utah with the OSU folks. Hopefully I will be able to send out another update once I begin my work in Montana!

Jesse on top of the Colorado National Monument at 6,106 feet near Fruita, Colorado.

Jesse on top of the Colorado National Monument at 6,106 feet near Fruita, Colorado.

From Ohio to the west coast. A view of the Pacific Ocean near Ocean Shores, Washington.

From Ohio to the west coast. A view of the Pacific Ocean near Ocean Shores, Washington.

Wooster geologist in New Zealand!

July 13th, 2010

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND–And it’s not me! Wooster geology student Andrew Collins is in a study abroad program on the South Island of New Zealand.  He has promised to share with us his geological experiences now and then. Andrew recently traveled to a town called Springfield near Christchurch and visited some amazing Paleogene limestone exposures on Castle Hill. This is an extreme example of karstic weathering.

Paleogene limestone on Castle Hill, South Island, New Zealand. Photograph by Andrew Collins.

Beautiful, eh? Andrew will share more New Zealand geology with us through this blog and his own.

This summer we’ve had Wooster geologists in Alaska, the southern USA, Ohio, Israel, Iceland and Utah … and we’re only halfway through our field season. Gotta love it!

Kveðja frá Íslandi! (Greetings from Iceland!)

July 13th, 2010

Guest Blogger: Becky Alcorn

Meagen og ég kynntist í Boston í gær og hafði tiltölulega viðburðasnauður flug til Íslands. Við komum á hostelið okkar í kringum miðnætti og komst hversu frábær hún var sannarlega. Ekki aðeins var flugvellinum skutla strætó þeirra brotinn niður, en svo var internetið, lykill á herbergi, og hitari í herbergið okkar. Til allrar hamingju þeir gáfu okkur í næsta herbergi sem var ekki heitt. Því miður en ekki var fortjaldið í herbergið okkar og það er aldrei raunverulega gets myrkur. Óþarfur að segja, að leita okkur að öðrum húsnæði í dag. Eftir að við að finna nýjan stað til að vera, tók við ferð upp til Reykjavíkur til að kanna borgina, sem var falleg … og fengum dýrindis Taílenska matur!

(As you can see, in the short time that I’ve been here, I’ve become fluent in Icelandic. See below for the English version.)

Meagen and I met in Boston yesterday afternoon and had a relatively uneventful flight to Iceland. We arrived at our hostel around midnight and discovered how fantastic it truly was. Not only was their airport shuttle bus broken down, but so was the internet, key to our room, and the heater in our room. Luckily they gave us the next room that wasn’t sweltering hot. Unfortunately though there was no curtain in our room and it never really gets dark. Needless to say, we searched for other accommodations today. After we found a new place to stay, we took a trip up to Reykjavik to explore the city, which was beautiful…and we got delicious Thai food!

Our tiny room in the hostel.

The harbor in Reykjavik.

Enjoying the sun in Reykjavik.

Reykjavik - the best city for its basalt columnar joints in the street and no dogs.

Houses by Tjornin Lake in Reykjavik.