Crystal Creek

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“The Southeast is the stroke and hypertension belt of the United States,” Love was saying. “That is blamed on sodium, including sodium in the water. We’re not far behind. Perhaps we can overtake them.” By the Gros Ventre River near Crystal Creek, some years ago, Love noticed horses eating the Cloverly formation-putting their noses right on the outcrop and slurping up nodules of zakelijke energie vergelijken soft Cretaceous lime. He could guess where the horses had come from. They were from Cora, near Pinedale, at the western base of the Wind River Mountains. When the Wind Rivers came rising up during the Laramide Revolution and moved a few miles west, they completely covered the only limestone in the region. As a result, he said, it is not unusual for a college freshman who has grown up in Pinedale to require false teeth. Pinedale has one of the two or three highest records of dental decay in Wyoming. Pinedale is to caries as Savannah is to coronary thrombosis, in each case for a geological reason. He said that somewhere in limbo on the industrial drawing board was a geothermal project that would mine the hot groundwaters of the Island Park Caldera, southwest of Yellowstone. The question uppermost in many people’s minds seemed to be: What would happen to Old Faithful and other Yellowstone geysers? In New Zealand, when the government tapped the fifth-largest geyser field in the world for geothermal energy the Karapiti Blowhole shut down as promptly as if a hand had turned a valve. A geyser field in Nevada once rivalled Yellowstone’s-until 1961, when geothermal well drilling killed the Nevada geysers. Old Faithful was having trouble enough without help from the hand of man. For a century, and who zakelijke energie knows how much longer, Old Faithful had erupted at intervals averaging seventy minutes, but in 1959 the earthquake at Hebgen Lake, nearby in Montana, slowed the geyser down. Additional earthquakes in 1975 and 1983 caused Old Faithful to become so erratic that visitors complained.

Stubborn fragments

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If a submarine swell is of that size, there is not much else it can be. That it was once, theoretically, somewhere between Port Radium and Repulse Bay is a matter of tracing and dating small circles on the sphere traversed by moving plates. Keewaytin is in the center of the Canadian Shield. If the shield once had younger sediments on it, a hot spot underneath it would have lifted it up and cleaned it off, creating the enigma of the Canadian Shield. Morgan believes that various hot spots positioned in various eras under shield rock are what have kept it generally free of zakelijke energie latter-day deposits. Stubborn fragments of the Paleozoic here and there on the shield suggest that this is so, as does the relatively modest number of meteorite craters. If the shield rock had been sitting there uncovered since Precambrian time, its surface could be expected to be more widely pockmarked, not unlike the plains of the moon. Later in the Jurassic, the Great Meteor Hot Spot was under the west side of Hudson Bay, and in the early Cretaceous under Moose Factory, Ontario. All this is postulated not on any direct field evidence but simply on a charted extrapolation from an ocean dome nearly four thousand miles away. As time comes forward, however, the calculations place the hot spot-with its huge volumes of magma-under New Hampshire a hundred and twenty million years ago. The radioactively derived age of a good deal of granite in the White Mountains, so puzzlingly “anachronistic” in Appalachian history, is a hundred and twenty million years. East of the North American continental shelf, lined up like bell jars on the Sohm Abyssal Plain, are the New England Seamounts. Their average height is eleven thousand feet. They are very well dated, and their ages decrease with distance east. Their zakelijke energie vergelijken positions and their ages-ninety-five million years, ninety million years, eighty-five million years-coincide with Morgan’s mathematical biography of the Great Meteor Hot Spot. A development that has greatly improved the precision of these measurements is argon-argon dating. A stream of neutrons in a nuclear reactor ‘bombards a rock sample and causes a known fraction of its atoms of potassium to change into argon-39. Also in the sample are atoms of the isotope argon-40, which are unaffected by the bombardment and are the result of the natural decay of potassium through geologic time.

Full of life

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And he answered, “Oh, yes. Always. No concubines. I’ve always been pretty solitary. I still am.” Gouging around the mountains in his free time-and traversing the valley-he would get off his horse here and again, sit down, and think. (“You can’t do geology in a hurry.”) On horseback or on foot-from that summer forward, whenever he was there-he gathered with his eyes and his hammer details of the landscape. If he happened to come to a summit or an overlook with a wide view, he would try to spend as much of a day as possible there, gradually absorbing the country, sensing the control from its concealed and evident structure, wondering-as if it were zakelijke energie vergelijken a formal compositionhow it had been done. (“It doesn’t matter that I don’t know what I’m looking at. Later on, it becomes clear-maybe. And maybe not. You try to put the petals back on the Rower.”) Some of those summits had not been visited before, but almost without exception he did not make a cairn or leave his name. (“I left my name on two peaks. When you’re young and full of life, you do strange things.”) Having no way to know what would or would not yield insight, he noticed almost anything. The mountain asters always faced Past. Boulders were far from the bedrock from which they derived. There was no quartzite in any of the surrounding mountains, but the valley was deeply filled with gold-bearing quartzite boulders. He discovered many faults in the valley floor, and failed for years to discern among them anything close to a logical sequence. There were different episodes of volcanism in two adjacent buttes. From high lookoffs he saw the barbed headwaters of streams that started flowing in one direction and then looped about and went the other waythe sort of action that might be noticed by a person carrying water on a tray. Something must have tilted this tray. From Signal Mountain he looked down at the Snake River close below, locally sluggish and zakelijke energie ponded, with elaborate meanders that had turned into oxbows -the classic appearance of an old river moving through low country. This was scarcely low country, and the Snake was anything but old. Several miles downstream, it took a sharp right, straightened itself out, picked up speed, and turned white. Looking down from Signal Mountain, he also noticed that moose, elk, and deer all drank from one spring just before their time of rut, crowding in, pushing and shoving to get at it (“They honk and holler and carry on”), ignoring the nearby waters of river, swamp, and lake.

Figured wallpaper

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As he built up his new home, he did not seem worried that in recent years herders had been killed, wagons had been burned, and sheep had been clubbed to death or driven over cliffs by the thousand. As anyone who has seen three Western movies cannot help but know, there was bloody warfare between cattlemen and sheepmen; and well into the new century the strife continued. According to David, his father stocked the ranch with both cattle and sheep specifically as a way of getting along with both sides. His monarchy would be disputed only by nature and bankers. Cowboys, zakelijke energie vergelijken meanwhile, made unlikely paperhangers.
Rolls of green figured wallpaper had arrived from a mail-order company. What to do with them, no one quite lmew, but there were directions. I made dishpans full of paste. In the evening John called in the half dozen cowboys from the bunkhouse. They carried planks and benches. They put all the leaves in the wobbly dinner table. I measured and cut, pasted and trimmed lengths of wallpaper. Then in chaps and jingling spurs the cowpunchers strode along the benches, slapping paste brushes and dangling strips of tom wallpaper over the dining room ceiling. We were all surprised and tremendously pleased with the results and celebrated over a ten-gallon keg of cider.
John put a roof on the ranch house that was half clay and a foot thick. It consisted of hundreds of two-inch poles covered with burlap covered with canvas covered with rafters embedded in the clay, with corrugated iron above that, coated with black asphaltum. It helped the house be cool in summer, warm in winter-and in the Wind River Basin was unique. But while this durable roof could defend against Wyoming weather the rest of the ranch could not. In the zakelijke energie winter of 1912, winds with velocities up to a hundred miles an hour caused sheep to seek haven in dry gulches, where snows soon buried them as if in avalanche. Going without sleep for forty and fifty hours, John Love and his ranch hands struggled to rescue them.

Medicine Bow

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We left I -80 there and bucked tl1e southwest wind, crossing the surprisingly flat mountain-crest terrain on a pair of ruts in the pink granite, which had crystals the size of silver dollars. The view from that high wide surface took in a large piece of the front of the Rockies, with the Never Summer Mountains standing out clearly in Colorado, to the south, and, to the west, the bright peaks of the Snowy Range. The Snowy Range-rising white above a dark high forestappeared to be on top of the Medicine Bow Mountains. Remarkable as it seemed, that was the case. At the ten-thousand-foot level, the bottom of the Snowy Range rests on the broad flat zakelijke energie top of the Medicine Bows like a sloop on water, its sails flying upward anotl1er two thousand feet. In the Miocene, the high flat Medicine Bow surface at the base of the Snowy Range was the leve .l of maximum fill. In the fifty miles between the Snowy Range and our position on top of the Laramie Range lay the gulf of the excavated Laramie Plains. Our line of sight to the tree line of the Medicine Bows had been landscape in the Miocene. From twelve thousand feet it had gently sloped to about nine thousand where we were, and as we turned and faced east and gazed on down that mostly vanished plane we could all but see the Miocene surface continuing-as Love expressed it-“on out to East G-string.” Everywhere in the central Rockies, that highest level of basin fill touched the eminent ranges at altitudes that are now between ten and twelve thousand feet with results that are as beautiful as they are anomalous in the morphology of the zakelijke energie vergelijken world’s mountains. In the Beartooths, for example, you can ascend a glacial valley thatin its U shape and high cirques-closely resembles any hanging valley in the Pennine Alps; but after you climb from ten to eleven to twelve thousand feet you do not find a Weisshorn fingering the sky. Instead, you move into an unexpectable physiographic setting, which, after steep slopes above a dry Wyoming basin, is lush and paradisal to the point of detachment from the world. Alpine meadows with meandering brooks are spread across a rolling but essentially horizontal scene, in part forested, in part punctuated with discrete stands of conifers and small cool lakes.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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The first fifteen minutes or half hour are given to reading “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” or “Kidnapped,” while we all sit about the stove to keep warm. Usually in the middle of a reading the sound of a horse galloping down the frozen road distracts the attention of the boys, until a few moments later six-foot George opens the door, a sack of oats in one hand, his lunch tied up in a dish rag in the other. Cold from his five-mile ride, he sits down on the floor by the stove, unbuckles his spurs, pulls off his leather chaps, drops his hat, unwinds two or three red handkerchiefs from about his neck and ears, takes off one or two coats, according to the temperature, unbuttons his zakelijke energie vergelijken vest and straightens his leather cuffs. At last he is ready for business.
Sandford is the largest scholar, six feet, big, slow in the school room, careful of every move of his big hands and feet. His voice is subdued and full of awe as he calls me “ma’am.” Outside while we play chickens he is another person-there is room for his bigness. Next largest of the boys is Otto Schlicting, thin and dark, a strange combination of shrewdness and stupidity. His problems always prove, whether they are right or not! He is a boaster, too, tries to make a big impression. But there is something very attractive about him. I was showing his little sister how to add and subtract by making little lines and adding or crossing off others. Later I found on the back of Otto’s papers hundreds and hundreds of little lines-trying to add that way as far as a hundred evidently. He is nearly fifteen and studying division. . . . Arithmetic is the zakelijke energie family failing. “How many eights in ninetysix?” I ask him. He thinks for a long time. Finally he says-with such a winsome smile that I wish with all my heart it were true-“Two.” ‘What feeds the cells in your body?” I ask him. He thinks. He says, “I guess it’s vinegar.” He has no idea of form. His maps of North America on the board are all like turnips.

Heavy precipitation

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Cold air flowing off the ice sheets caused such heavy precipitation when it encountered warm and humid air to the south that whole regions there filled with water, too. The basins of Nevada became lakes and the ranges among them were islands. Lake Bonneville filled a third of Utal1. Huge lakes grew in the Gobi Desert, in Australia’s Great Artesian Basin, in various lowlands across North Africa. There were forests in the Sahara, as fossil pollen shows, and networks of flowing streams. Their dry channels remain. In North America, where the ice started to go back about twenty thousand years ago, the first vegetation to spring up behind it was tundra. Carbon i4 can date the fossil tundra. The dates, particularly in the East, show a slow, and kantoor huren per uur rotterdam then accelerating, retreat.
After five thousand years, the front was still in Connecticut. In another twenty-five hundred years, it crossed the line to Canada. Human beings, living on the tundra near the ice, perforce were inventive and tough. Culture, in part, was a glacial effect. In response to the ice had come controlled fire, weapons, tools, and fur as clothing. Creativity is thought to have flourished in direct proportion to proximity to the glacier-an idea that must infuriate the equatorial mind. The ice drew back from Britain a geologic instant before the birth of Shakespeare. The fossils of Homo sapiens have never been found in sediments older than the Ice Age. In the way that scenes of vanished mountains can be inferred from their debris, the vision of continents covered with ice came straightforwardly to Agassiz as the product of reasoning carried backward from kantoor huren per uur amsterdam evidence through time. It is one thing to say that the ice was there, quite another to say how it got there. If the origin of mountains is sublimely moot, so is the origin of the ice. Characteristically, the prime mover is not well understood. The ice did not come over the world like a can of paint poured out on the North Pole. It formed in places well below the Arctic Circle, and moved out in every direction-including north-until cut off by the unsupportive sea. Geologists call these places spreading centers, the same term they use for the rifted boundaries where plates tectonically divide. To the question ‘Why did the ice form?” they can answer only with speculation.

The silhouettes

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On both sides of the interstate, above the silhouettes of screening trees, we saw the tops of draglines-the necks and heads of industrial giraffes. They and predecessor machines had been working for fifty years, altering the topography, stripping the coal beds of Pennsylvania-in all, a mineral deposit worth a great deal more than the diamond mines of Kimberley and the goldfields of the Klondike. Coal was in the roadcuts now and would continue to be for many tens of miles-in layers that were not the dull deep gray of the Allegheny shale but truly black and shining. Layered light and dark, the roadcuts looked like Hungarian tortes. Reading up from the bottom, there was sandstone, siltstone, shale, coal, sandstone, siltstone, shale, coal. We would see limestones farther on, capping the coal where sea had covered the swamps. The present sequence was built behind a coastline-as is happening now, for co-working space rotterdam example, in the bayous of the Mississippi Delta-by rivers meandering to and fro, covering with sand the matted vegetation. “These roadcuts are a textbook on the making of coal,” Anita said. Buried and compressed, vegetal debris first becomes peat-a melange of spores, seed coats, wood, bark, leaves, and roots which looks like chewing tobacco and burns about as well. Peat bears much the same relation to coal that snow does to glacier ice. As snow is ever more buried and compacter!, it recrystallizes and becomes ice-on the average ten times as dense as the original snow. As peat is buried, compacted, subjected to geothermal heat, it gradually gives up much of its oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen, and concentrates its content of carbon. The American co-working space amsterdam Geological Institute’s Glossary of Geology defines coal as “a readily combustible rock.” By weight, any rock that is half carbonaceous material is coal. Its density is roughly ten times the density of peat. In the United States, there is enough peat to keep Ireland warm for a thousand years. The United States uses almost none of it, because the United States also happens to have a great deal more coal than any other country in the world. Peat that remains near the surfa ce will never become coal. Buried three-quarters of a mile, it becomes bituminous.

Virtually identical

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The successive orogenic pulses that resulted in what we know as the Appalachian Mountains occurred across a period of about two hundred and fifty million years. In two hundred and fifty million years, at two inches a year, you can move landmasses a third of the way around the world. Geologists ordinarily require vast stretches of time to account for their theories. In this case, they have too much time. They have two continents in the act of collision for two hundred and fifty million years. In i972, scarcely four years after the lithospheric plates had first been identified and the theory that described them had become news in the world, Anita and two co-authors published a set of papers offering strong evidence of plate tectonics in action, apparent proof that Sweden, or something like it, had once been in Pennsylvania. It was an inference drawn from conodont paleontology. The papers were widely cited for their co-working space zwolle support of plate-tectonic theory, and are cited still. North of Reading, in the Great Valley of the Appalachians, Anita had found early Ordovician conodonts of a type previously unknown in North America but virtually identical with early Ordovician conodonts from the rock of Scandinavia. All over North America were early Ordovician conodonts from tropical and subtropical seas. Their counterparts in Scandinavia were from cooler water, and so were these strangers Anita found in Pennsylvania. She found them in what is known as an exotic block, embedded in a fartravelled thrust sheet. They happened to be within a third of a mile of warm-water American conodonts in rock of about the co-working space arnhem same age which had moved hardly at all. The Scandinavian conodonts had apparently come to Pennsylvania with the closing of the protoAtlantic ocean and been dropped ashore off the leading edge of the arriving plate.

The huge roadcut

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“This would be a beautiful place to measure the thickness of the section,” Anita said. “It’s completely exposed. It’s consistent. There are no faults. The thin green bands are where deposition was too rapid for oxidation to take place.” Evidence of geologists was everywhere. They had painted numbers and letters on the rock. They had removed countless paleomagnetic plugs. The bedding, seen close, was not monotonously even, as rock would be that formed in still water. Instead, it was full of the migrating channels, feathery crossbedding, natural levees, and overbank deposits of its thoroughly commemorated river. There were little maroon mud flakes. They were plucked off flats in a storm. We went back a few miles and slowly reviewed the rock. When again we approached the huge roadcut, Anita said, “In Illinois, this would be a state park.”
The bedding planes of the Holy Toledo cut, as I would ever after refer to those enormous walls of red stone, were dipping to co-working space rotterdam the east. Over the past few miles, the rock of the country had been folded ninety degrees. To the immediate west, therefore, we would be goiilg down in time and predictably would descend in space to a Cambra-Ordovician carbonate valley, which is what happened, as the road fell away bending left and down into Nittany Valley, where ribs of dolomite protruded here and there among rich-looking pastures turning green, gentle streamcourses, white farms. “Penn State sits on Nittany dolomite,” Anita said. “Ifs twenty miles down this valley.” Some remnant Cambrian sandstone formed a blister in the valley. The interstate drifted around it in a westerly way and toward the foot of still another endless mountain-Bald Eagle, the last ridge of the deformed Appalachians. After the co-working space amsterdam Cambrian sandstone, the Ordovician dolomite, there was Silurian quartzite in the gap that broke through the mountain. Its strata dipped steeply west.