Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Ora Formation: A future student project?

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL–I’ve always enjoyed seeing the Ora Formation, which is exposed only in Makhtesh Ramon and to the south. It is early Late Turonian in age, so it is part of the Upper Cretaceous and about 90 million years … Continue reading

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Makhteshim Country: A Future UNESCO Geopark?

MITZPE RAMON–Our colleague Yoav Avni of the Geological Survey of Israel is part of a movement to declare the Negev Desert around the three major makhteshim a Geopark cataloged by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). A … Continue reading

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It is always a good day if there are sclerobionts in it

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL–Sclerobionts are organisms that live on or in a hard substrate. Paul Taylor and I coined the term in 2002, so I use it as often as I can. Maybe someday more than six people will know what … Continue reading

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Camel stand-off!

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL–It wouldn’t be the Middle East without a camel encounter or two. One year a camel literally ate my lunch when I left it in the shade of the car during a long morning’s work. (He even ate … Continue reading

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Crinoid success

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL–One of our missions on this expedition to Israel is to find more and better examples of a distinctive crinoid in the Middle Jurassic Matmor Formation. Crinoids are stemmed echinoderms with a very long geological history, dating back … Continue reading

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Makhtesh Gadol: The Movie

MITZPE RAMON–It will not win awards, but I think you’ll get some of the thrill of driving into Makhtesh Gadol in southern Israel from the northwest. Note the one lane road that goes, alas, two ways.

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First field day: Makhtesh Gadol (A large bowl of geological delights)

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL–Today Will Cary, Yoav Avni (our friend from the Geological Survey of Israel) and I worked in the northern end of Makhtesh Gadol (“the large crater”). This geomorphic feature looks a bit like an oblong impact crater, but … Continue reading

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Our base of geological operations: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel

We have written many times about the geology of southern Israel in our blog posts over the past two years, and there is plenty more to come this week. We haven’t discussed the little town we stay in during our … Continue reading

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The 2011 Israel Expedition Begins

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY–Wooster junior Will Cary and I are departing very soon on a flight to Tel Aviv, Israel, and the start of our ten-day field trip to Israel.  We will be exploring the Jurassic of southern Israel (the Matmor … Continue reading

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Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A scleractinian coral (Middle Jurassic of Israel)

In advance of my next field trip to Israel (watch this space!), our highlighted fossil this week is the scleractinian coral Microsolena, a genus named by the French naturalist Jean Vincent Félix Lamouroux in 1821. The specimen above was collected … Continue reading

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