geological wonders

The present turbulence in the planetary cosmos announces the formation of a new life-field of completely different atmospheric interrelationships, accompanied by impending geological changes and countless wonderful developments in many realms of nature. Immeasurable joy will fill all who are able to see and comprehend. The leaden misery of many will come to an end. The masks will be torn away.

Perhaps now we shall be able to understand the words of the Confessio Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis: “One thing should be stated here by us, namely that God has ordained that the truth, the light, and the splendor that he caused to leave Paradise together with Adam, shall be restored to the world, which shortly thereafter will perish. Thus the suffering of humankind will be lightened and all falsity, darkness, and bondage will cease.”

How to spot a geology student:

-Wears Northface, Patagonia, L.L. Bean, or some combination of the above. If not that, they’re wearing work out gear.

-Wears Tevas, Chacos, or hiking boots every day, even though your campus definitely has paved sidewalks.

-Has a gigantic water bottle clipped onto their overly rugged backpack.

-Likes terrible puns.

-Has been to every national park in a 300 mile radius.

-Bites rocks.

-Tries to get you to bite rocks, too.

-Will not shut UP during Jurassic Park.

-Uses the word “accreted” in a non-geologic, non-ironic manner. Wonders why no one knows what it means.

-Lots of suppressed anger towards people who don’t understand the difference between paleontology and archaeology. Ten times more anger if they’re studying geoarchaeology.

-Unsure of how many rocks are in their backpack at any given time.

This incredible rock is found in Hayden, Australia. It looks like the earth sculpted a breaking wave and put it down on the land - which is almost exactly what happened! The rock, composed of granite, formed by a process of erosion while still underneath the earth 60 million years ago! As the earth exposed more of the area, it finally came into view to amaze and delight us all.

Surreal USA travel destinations

The Mammoth Hot Springs of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico is Carlsbad Caverns National Park, a series of more than 119 caves that were formed from sulfuric acid that dissolved its surrounding limestone to create a fascinating underground world.

The Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve in Dripping Springs, Texas, features a jade green pool fed by waterfall flows. 

The Fly Geyser is a rainbow-colored geological wonder on the edge of Black Rock Desert Nevada that was created through accidental well drilling. The geyser is known for its stunning changing colors.

Deep inside a mountain in east Tennessee is the Lost Sea, America’s largest underground lake. Stretching more than four acres in size, the lake is part of a cave system called Craighead Caverns.

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#mypubliclandsroadtrip watches the sun set at the Trona Pinnacles, one of the most unusual geologic wonders in the California Desert. 

This landscape consists of more than 500 tufa (calcium carbonate) pinnacles rising from the bed of the Searles Dry Lake basin. These tufa spires were formed underwater, 10,000 to 100,000 years ago, when Searles Lake established a link in an interconnected chain of Pleistocene lakes stretching from Mono Lake to Death Valley. 

Did you know? Geologically the pinnacles are classified into four general shapes - towers, tombstones, ridges and cones.

  • Towers are taller than they are wide and rise 30 to 40 feet.  Look for pointed, rounded or flat summits. 
  • Tombstones are stubby and squat and rise 20 to 30 feet.
  • Ridges are massive, toothy and tufa runs.  Trona Pinnacles has three ridges.  One ridge is 800 feet long, 500 feet wide and 140 feet tall.
  • Cones are less than 10 feet tall. Dumpy and mounded cone shapes lay scattered throughout the Trona Pinnacles

The Trona Pinnacles were designated by the Department of the Interior as a National Natural Landmark in 1968 to protect one of the nation’s best examples of tufa formation. Explore #yourlands!

vimeo

Following his fourth studio album, acclaimed musician Chaz Bundick, otherwise known as Toro Y Moi, brings to the screen a sonic experience featuring all new live arrangements. Filmed in the middle of the Mojave desert, Toro Y Moi: Live from Trona presents an entire concert album, recorded live beneath the geological wonders known as the Trona Pinnacles. 9-time Staff Picked director Harry Israelson breaks down the fourth wall, revealing the filmmaking process by making equipment, lights and crew visible at all times. With no audience in attendance and a spectacular natural environment that feels otherworldly, the film pays homage to rock films of a previous era. As the sun sets behind the pinnacles, which formed thousands of years ago in what used to be a prehistoric lake, the supernatural setting weaves seamlessly together with 13 psychedelic tracks, all recorded on site over the course of an entire day. Through the use of hand-drawn animations and behind-the-scenes VHS footage, Live from Trona offers viewers a surreal sonic experience, placing you front row at a private Toro Y Moi concert.

Use code “Trona15” for 15% off during pre-order!

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Ending today’s #mypubliclandsroadtrip in BLM Arizona with a the history and habitat of the Agua Fria National Monument

Just 45 minutes north of Phoenix, the Agua Fria National Monument includes an abundance of wildlife as well as geological and archaeological wonders. The monument’s water resources include the Agua Fria River and streams, creeks and pools that  provide habitat for fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and larger wildlife species like deer, pronghorn, javelina and mountain lions.  To date, 194 species of bird have been recorded.

The monument also contains more than 450 recorded archaeological sites, spanning some 2,000 years of human history.  From the Pueblo La Plata site to the rock art located at the confluence of the Badger Springs Trail, visitors are encouraged to explore these sites but to help preserve them by not removing, defacing, collecting or further damaging any of the artifacts, structures or rocks.  Given the unique features of the monument, it offers excellent recreation opportunities, from hiking to camping to photography.  

Story by Michael Abalos, BLM Arizona; click photos for photographer credit

Salar de Uyuni is located on the Andes in Bolivia and is the world’s largest salt flat. It’s a dried salt lake which has created an amazing flat few meters high salt crust and consists from 50 to 70% of the world’s reserves of lithium. However, it’s not the reason why this place is so famous. During the raining season the water creates the world’s largest mirror. You can see the sky and clouds under your feet and feel like you’re walking on them. Although it’s a quite remote place, there are still a lot of tourists who make their best photos in Salar de Uyuni.

Standing in 90 degree heat on huge logs of crystals, one might indeed be in a giants’ showroom in Chihuahua, Mexico. Dwarfing humans in size, these are the largest crystals of selenite ever found. The heat inside comes from magma under the floor of the cave, and it was magma-heated water that once filled the whole space. As a result, it became rich in minerals like gypsum, causing the crystal logs to form. Because of the heat and humidity, scientists can’t spend more than 10 minutes at a time in the cave without suffering ill effects, so it is no wonder tourists won’t have the opportunity to visit in the near future. 

Formally known as the Richat Structure, the Eye of the Sahara is a much more appropriate name. This mysterious blue eye has puzzled scientist since the first space flights, when astronauts noticed it looking back at them. Space shuttles use the 50 km-wide feature as a landmark even today, it is so clear in the middle of the barren Sahara desert. Researchers now believe it is a “symmetrical uplift”, essentially an area that rose up as hard quartz while softer rock and sand was eroded from it.

The breathtaking Fingal’s Cave in Scotland gives you impression that someone has built it. The perfect hexagonally jointed basalt columns were formed during many years when the hot lava was cracked into perfect hexagonal patterns in a similar way to drying mud cracking as it shrinks, and these cracks gradually extended down into the mass of lava as it cooled and shrank to form the columns, which were subsequently exposed by erosion. There are similar phenomenon in Northern Ireland and Ulva in Scotland. 

The Chocolate Hills in the Philippines are named for their resemblance to Hershey kisses during the dry season when the grass is brown. With estimates of up to 1,776 of these amazing mounds - actually called haycock hills - they make a spectacular landscape. When visiting, you are standing on millions of years’ worth marine limestone, which contains fossils, old coral and mollusks! They were created by erosion from above and below by water after they had been lifted up from sea level.