Passing through Yellowstone

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Passing through Yellowstone on one of our journeys, Love and I found ourselves in foggy mists beside a boiling spring, and on impulse he got out a scintillometer and held it over the water. The scintillometer clicked away at a hundred and fifty counts per second, indicating that the radioactivity in the spring was about three times background. Interesting-but not exactly adrenalizing to a man who had seen the thing going at five thousand and upward. In the years that immediately followed the Second World War, the worldwide search for uranium was so feverish that geologists themselves seemed to be about three times background. Not only was the arms race getting under way-with the security of the United States thought to be enhanced by zakelijke energie vergelijken the fashioning of ever larger and ever smaller uranium bombs-but also there was promise of a panacean new deal in which this heaviest of all elements found in nature would cheaply heat homes and light cities. The rock that destroyed Hiroshima had come out of the Colorado Plateau, and it was to that region that prospectors were principally drawn. As any geologist would tell you, metal deposits were the result of hydrothermal activity. Geochemists imagined that water circulating deep in the crust picked up whatever it encountered-gold, silver, uranium, tin, all of which would go into solution with enough heat and pressure. They imagined the metal rising with the water and precipitating near tl1e surface. By definition, a vein of ore was the filling of a fissure near a hot spring. This theory was so correct that it tended to seal off the zakelijke energie conversation from intrusion by other ideas. Three geologists working in South Dakota in i950 and i951 found uranium in a deposit of coal. Locally, there was no hydrothermal history. Oligocene tuff-volcanic detritus blown east a great distance-overlay the coal. There were people who thought that ordinaiy groundwater had leached the uranium out of the tuff and carried it into the coal.

Cape Fear

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The high-standing Bahamas eighteen thousand feet above the Hatteras Abyssal Plain-are defined as a carbonate platform, its wide shallow seas underlain by limestones and corals. Morgan says, “I would hope that if you drilled through them you would end up with basalt.” The Labrador Hot Spot is thought to be “blind” -a hot spot that has not found a way to drive a plume to the surface but has nonetheless raised the terrain. This would account for the otherwise unaccountable altitudes of Labrador, not to mention more cleansing of the Canadian Shield. The Guiana Shield is also thought to lie above a blind hot spot, which has lifted the country and produced, among other things, the
world’s highest falls-a plume of water twenty times the height of Niagara. Bermuda is the last edifice of a zakelijke energie faint but evident hot spot, which underlies the ocean crust east of the present islands. The domal swell of the seafloor is classic-like Hawaii’s, a thousand kilometres wide. (Under continents, upwelled masses analogous to the Bermudian and Hawaiian swells can be shown by satellite measurements of gravity anomalies.) Bermuda has not been active for thirty million years, but its track can be extrapolated westward in conformity with the track of Great Meteor and the well-established motions of the North American Plate. Seen in its former contexts, Bermuda proves to be a good bit less interesting for where it is now than for where it has been. If you could somehow look into the side of the American continent from Georgia to Virginia, you would see a great suite of Cretaceous strata dipping north and south, descending like a rooftop from an apex at Cape Fear. Something zakelijke energie vergelijken lifted up that arch, and, as one can readily discern from the stratigraphy and structure, whatever did the lifting did it in Paleocene time. Since the Paleocene, the North American Plate has moved the exact distance from Bermuda to Cape Fear.

The Sundance Sea

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The red sands in tum are covered by the Sundance Sea. Coming from the north, it not only buries the big dunes under mud and sand but covers them with galaxies of clams. When the water drops, floodplains emerge, and flooding rivers band the country pink, purple, red, and green. Dinosaurs wander this chromatic landscape-a dinosaur as large as a corgi, a dinosaur as large as a bear, a dinosaur larger than a Trailways bus. Seas return, filled with a viciousness of life. Black and gray sediments pour into them from stratovolcanoes off to the west. In these times, the piece of sea bottom which is the future site of Jackson Hole overshoots the latitude of modern Wyoming and continues north to a kind of apogee near modern Saskatoon. The land zakelijke energie vergelijken arches. Deep miles of sediments lying over schists and granites rise and bend. The seas drain eastward. The dinosaurs fade. Mountains rise northwest, rooted firmly to their Precambrian cores. Braided rivers descend from them, lugging quartzite boulders, and spreading fields of gold-bearing gravel tens of miles wide. Other mountains-as rootless sheets of rock-appear in the west, sliding like floorboards, overlapping, stacking up, covering younger rock, colliding with the rooted mountains, while to the east more big ranges and huge downflexing basins appear in the random geometries of the Laramide Revolution. For all that is going on around it, the amount of activity at the site of Jackson Hole is relatively low. Across the future valley runs a northwest-trending hump that might be the beginnings of a big range but is destined not to become one. Miles below, however, a great fault develops zakelijke energie among the Precambrian granites, amphibolites, gneisses, and schists-and a crustal block moves upward at least two thousand feet, stopping, for tl1e time being, far below the surface.

Love Ranch

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That was written in 1936, by Charles J. Hares, who had also made frequent stops at Love Ranch. Hares (1881-1970), in the course of a career in the Geological Survey and private business, became “the dean of Rocky Mountain petroleum geologists” and was one of the founders of the Wyoming Geological Association. His work on the anticlines of central Wyoming set up most of the major oil discoveries in the region. He was a celebrated teacher as well, and his roster of youthful field assistants in time became a list of some of the most accomplished geologists in America. Geologists who came to the ranch were reconnaissance geologists of the first rank, who went into unknown country and mapped it with an accuracy that is remarkable to this day. In David’s words: “They raised a magic curtain. They showed us things we’d never seen. There was mother-of-pearl on some of the ammonites. There were zakelijke energie vergelijken Mesozoic oyster shells with both valves intact. You could open them up and see inside. All these things were marine-known only from ocean floors. They also brought in beautiful leaves, fifty million years old, from non-marine rocks of the Eocene. The seas were gone. The mountains had come up. Day after day, we could look around us and see, in the mind’s eye, those things happening.” David’s mother owned Joseph LeConte’s Elements of Geology. He read it when he was nine years old. Did he grasp structure and stratigraphy then? Could he have begun to understand faulting? “To some extent, yes,” he says. “After all, we could see it out in front of us.” On the southern horizon were the Gas Hills-a line of bluebanded ridges formed in a wedge like the prow of a ship (actually, an arch of shale). David would find uranium there in 1953· Riding over those ridges as a boy, he smelled gas. There were oil seeps zakelijke energie as well. (“It was something you could relate to. The Gas Hills weren’t called that for nothing.”) Oil and gas had entered the conversation at the ranch when David was four years old. In that summer (1917), derricks suddenly appeared in six different places within twenty miles; and, like other ranchers, the Loves began to muse upon a solvency giddily transcending the wool of frozen sheep. David’s mother referred to all this as the family mirage.

The Celebes Sea

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He wore a threegallon hat. His paunch at the time was under control. The interstate trail was more than a little wild then, but manifestly so was he. The red rock is of so much beauty there, and competence, that people collect it for building material, banging it free from the shattered roadcuts and loading it into pickups, much as ranchers did when they first came to the Laramie Plains and ascended the mountains in wagons and zakelijke energie collected the rock to build their homes. It is a porous and permeable, fine-grained, hard, brittle sandstone; and because it rests on impermeable granite water moves through it downhill. Released in a fault zone at the bottom, the water leaps to the surface in artesian fountains-the springs that established Laramie. The bright-red roadcuts, ten and twenty metres high, were capped with a buff-colored limestone, which had been deposited in tropical waters on top of the Pennsylvanian sand. After a mountain range rises under layers of flat-lying rock and bends them upward until they all but stand on end, the slopes of the eroding mountains will descend more gently than the dip of the molested strata. And so, as we plunged down Telephone Canyon, the interstate was tilting less than the rock of the roadcuts, and the red sandstone yielded gradually, interstitially, to the younger limestones, until the sandstone was gone altogether and zakelijke energie vergelijken we were moving through the floor of an ocean. It was full of crinoids, brachiopods, and algal buttons, which had lived near the equator in a place like the Bismarck Archipelago or an arm of the Celebes Sea.
The canyon opened to the plains-a broad dry sea of the interior Rockies-and soon we were on Grand Avenue, Laramie, passing the University of Wyoming, whose buff buildings on wide soft lawns could never be said to resemble roadcuts, notwithstanding the crinoids in their walls, the brachiopods and algal buttons. We passed Love’s home, on Eleventh Street, and his office on the campus, adjacent to a life-size two-story sculpture of Tyrannosaurus rex, the toughest-looking critter in the history of the earth, a native, needless to say, of Wyoming.

Absolutely helpless

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And the next day was Christmas ….J ust before supper the joyful cry went up that Mr. Love was coming, and actually in time for dinner. He had broken his record and arrived by day!
A pitch pine had been set up indoors and its boughs painted with dissolved alum to simulate frost. Hanging from the branches were wooden balls covered with tobacco tinfoil. Flakes of mica were glued to paper stars. On Christmas, Mr. Mills and Mr. Love dressed in linen collars and what Miss Waxham called “fried shirts.” When Miss Waxham turned  zakelijke energie vergelijken to a package from home that she knew contained pajamas, she went into her bedroom to open it. The following day, Miss Waxham was meant to go to something called Institute, in Lander-a convocation of Fremont County schoolteachers for lectures, instruction, and professional review. By phenomenal coincidence, Mr. Love announced that he had business in Lander, too. ‘ It was decided that I should go with him. I rather dreaded it. …I confess I was somewhat afraid of him ….I was wrapped up in a coat of my own with Mrs. Mills’ sealskin over it, muffler, fur hat, fur gloves, leggings, and overshoes. Then truly I was so bundled up that it was next to impossible to move. “Absolutely helpless,” laughed Mr. Love.
Whatever business Mr. Love had in zakelijke energie Lander did not in any way seem to press him. Miss Waxham stayed with Miss Davis, the county superintendent, and while other people came and went from the premises Mr. Love was inclined to remain.
Supper time came and Mr. Love remained. We had a miserable canned goods cold supper. Miss MacBride left, Mr. Love remained.
In the afternoon, Mr. Love called. It certainly was a surprise. I explained why Miss Davis was out, but he didn’t seem to mind. I said that she would be back soon. He asked if I should not like to take a drive and see the suburbs. Of course I would ….W e went for a long drive in the reservation, with a box of chocolates between us, and a merry gossip we had ….H e was bemoaning the fact that there is no place for a man to spend the evening in Lander except in a saloon. “Come and toast marshmallows,” I said, and he took it as a good suggestion.


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The term refers to rock that has not moved. Love was born in the center of Wyoming in i913, and grew up on an isolated ranch, where he was educated mainly by his mother. To be sure, experience had come to him beyond the borders-a Yale Ph.D., explorations for oil in the southern Appalachians and the midcontinent-but his career had been accomplished almost wholly in his home terrain. For several decades now, he had been regarded by colleagues as one of the two or three most influential field geologists in the Survey, and, in recent time, inevitably, as “the grand old man of Rocky Mountain geology.” The grand old man had a full thatch of white hair, and crow’s feet around pale-blue eyes. He wore old gray boots with broken laces, brown canvas trousers, and a jacket made of horsehide. Between his hips was a brass belt buckle of the sort that suggests a conveyor. Ambiguously, it was scrolled with the word “LOVE.” On his head was a two-gallon Stetson, with a braidedhorsehair band. He wore trifocals. There was stratigraphy even in his glasses. A remarkably broad geologist, he had worked on everything from geochemistry to structural geology, environmental geology to Pleistocene geology, stratigraphy to areal geology and mapping-and he had published extensively in all these fields. In the Bronco, he seemed confined-a restlessness that derived from a lifetime of travel on foot or horseback. He was taking me across Wyoming, at my request, looking at the rock in roadcuts of the interstate, which in seasons that  kantoor huren per uur groningen followed would serve as portals for long digressions elsewhere in Wyoming in pursuit of the geologies the roadcuts represented. Once, in the Bighorn Basin, as we were rolling out our sleeping bags, I asked him what portion of the nights of his life he had spent out under the stars, and he answered, “One-third.” A few minutes later, half asleep, he added a correction: “Let’s say onequarter. I want to be careful not to exaggerate.” He rolled over and was gone for the night. I passed out more slowly, while my brain tumbled heavily with calculation. Love was about seventy, and this, I figured, was something like kantoor huren per uur amsterdam his six-thousandth night on the ground. Well, not precisely on the ground. One must be careful not to exaggerate. He’d had the same old U.S.G.S. air mattress for forty years. When it was quite new, it sprang a leak. He poured evaporated milk in through the valve and stopped the leak.

Recent continental glaciation

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The ice was Antarctic in breadth. The traceable episodes of recent continental glaciation have each placed about as much ice over North America as is upon Antarctica now. In Wisconsinan time, which lasted about seventy-five thousand years and ended ten thousand years ago, three-fifths of all the ice in the world was on North America, another fifth covered much of Europe, and the rest was scattered. Of all special fields within the science, glacial geology is the most evident, the least inferred. It is, for one thing, contemporary. The ice is in recess but has not gone away. In addition to the ice of Antarctica, there is ice more than two miles thick over Greenland. There are twenty-seven thousand square miles of ice on Alaska (four per cent of Alaska). In Alaska, as in Switzerland and elsewhere in the world, you can co-working space groningen see cirque glaciers feeding into the master glaciers of alpine valleys. You can see that the cirque glaciers have dug scallops into the high ridges, and where three or four cirque glaciers have been arranged like petals they have tom away the rock until all that remains is a slender horn-the Kitzsteinhom, the Finsteraarhorn, the Matterhorn. Not only are ice sheets, ice fields, and individual glaciers operating today with effects observable as motions occur, but wherever they once flowed their products remain in abundance and intact. They have come and gone so recently. The evidence may seem obvious now, but not until the eighteen-thirties did anyone comprehend its significance. There had been insights, hints, and clues. James Hutton, the figure from the co-working space amsterdam Scottish Enlightenment who by himself developed the novel view of the world on which modem geology rests, mentioned in his Theory of the Earth (1J95) that the gravels and boulders of Switzerland’s great valley appeared to have been put there by ancient extensions of alpine ice. But Hutton, who formed his theory among the scratched granites and drifted gravels of Scotland, never suspected that Scotland itself had been a hundred per cent covered-actually dunked into the mantle-by ten thousand feet of ice. In i815, in the Swiss Val de Bagnes, below the Pennine


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California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia had appeared where tl1ere was no continental structure of any kind. Up and down the western margin, in fact, there was an unaccounted-for swath of land averaging four hundred miles wide. There was also the whole of Alaska. How did all that country come to be where it is? What compressed the western mountains? If Europe were on the international date line, these questions would have a ready answer, but inconveniently it was not.
No one was enthusiastic enough to suggest a hit-and-run visit from China. Where, then, since Ordovician time, had the North American continent acquired nine hundred million acres of land? There was an answer in the concept of microplates, also co-working space leeuwarden known as exotic terranes. New Guineas, New Zealands, New Caledonias, Madagascars, Kodiaks, Mindanaos, Fijis, Solomons, and Taiwans had come over the sea to collect like driftwood against the North American craton. The first such terrane identified was Wrangellia, named for the stratovolcanic Wrangells, some of the Fujis of Alaska. Dozens of other exotic terranes have since been named-Sonomia, Stikinia, the Smartville Block. If a piece of country is possibly exotic and possibly not-if it is so enigmatic that no one can say whether it has come from near or far-it is known as suspect terrane. I returned one time from a visit to the country north of the Tanana River, in eastern interior Alaska, where streams that resemble gin come down from mountains and into the glacial Yukon. A geologist in New Jersey welcomed me home with an article from Nature which described the Alaskan region of the upper Yukon. “The terrane is probably composite,” said Nature, “with nappes of upper Palaeozoic oceanic co-working space schiphol assemblages thrust across a quartzo-feldspathic and silicic volcanicrich protolith of probable Precambrian to known Palaeozoic age and of unknown continental affinity.” I was appalled to discover that that was where I had been, and mildly disturbed to learn that terrain long familiar to me had now become suspect.


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Running west of Du Bois and Clarion now, and less than fifty miles from Ohio, we were out of the browns and well into the gold. If the quality of coal improves eastward, the theoretical quality of petroleum goes the other way. We took a iight off the interstate. Soon we were cruising on Petroleum Street, in downtown Oil City. We continued north. In the fifteen miles between Oil City and Titusville lay the N apa Valley of early American oil. It was a V-shaped, intimate valley, five hundred feet from rim to co-working space groningen river, and along its floor were oil refineries so small they were almost cute. They did not suggest the starry lighted skeletal cities of Exxon’s Baton Rouge Refinery or Sunoco’s Marcus Hook. They suggested Christian Brothers, the Beringer Wine1y, the Beaulieu Vineyard. One refine1y followed another. Wolf’s Head, Pennzoil. They stood beside Oil Creek, which was so named in the eighteenth century because petroleum dripped out of its banks and into the water. Indians had found it, three centuries before, to judge by the age of trees that were growing in pits they had dug to collect the oil in pools. The Senecas rubbed their skins with it. They may have used it for light and heat. The use of petroleum is old in the world. Workmen laid asphalt three thousand years before Jesus Christ. The first energy crisis involving petroleum was in i875 B.C. The first co-working space amsterdam oil spills were natural, and were not so large that they could not be cleaned up by bacteria that feed on oil. In i853, in California, a lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers reported that “the channel between Santa Barbara and the islands is sometimes covered with a film of mineral oil, giving to the surface the beautiful prismatic hues that are produced when oil is poured on water.” Always, it was found in seeps. Even until a few years after the Second World War, all Iranian oil fields were associated with surface seeps. The first well in Texas-1865-was drilled near a seep. A well in Ontario had been drilled six years earlier, and in the same summer the first commercial oil well in the United States was drilled in Pennsylvania by Colonel Edwin Drake-less than a hundred steps from Oil Creek.