Monday, August 27, 2012

Geology Photo of the Week 1 - Aug 26-Sept 1, 2012

Hi everyone,

Every so often I come across some really cool stuff and like every other geo-blogger out there I immediately take a photo and then share it. When I first started blogging I started a geology photo of the week theme in which I would write a description of the picture. Unfortunately, I let this lapse for the past year and a half so it would be nice to re-start it. Obviously this initiative is nothing unusual as many other geo-blogs already post a "Photo of the Week" sort of feature.  However, I hope that I can also contribute to the growing body of geology photos on the web by also posting every photo on ImageGeo the open access geology photo repository that the European Geosciences Union operates. 

Sometimes the photo will be a picture of a mineral or fossil. Sometimes it will be scenic and sometimes it will be something in the lab. So stay tuned since who knows what it will be? All photos will also be accompanied by a brief description explaining the geological significance and/or the location of the photo. 

To begin....

(Photo: Matt Herod)
This photo was taken in May 2009 by me on a field trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta. It is a dinosaur bone, likely belonging to a hadrosaur, in soft sediment that has been exposed by erosion and will soon fall out of the small hoodoo that it resides in. You can see that half of it has already done so. Forgive the absence of scale, but the fossil was too high up for me to get a knife/pen/coin up there.

Dinosaur Provincial Park is one of the most incredible geological places that I have ever been. I don't want to write a super long post here but it is known around the world as one world's richest dinosaur bone sites. This was due to its fortuitous location and climate conditions during the Cretaceous period. It was a sub-tropical paradise full of rivers that deposited thick sand beds in which the bones are found today. Then, 10,000 years ago the continental glaciers covering Canada receded, exposing the sandy area to erosion, leading the formation of the beautifully carved badlands.  

The badlands. (Photo: Matt Herod)
Hope you enjoyed the first "photo of the week" and will come back for more down the road.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Field Work Photos 2012

I am writing this post from the Vancouver Airport on my way back to Ottawa from Whitehorse where I was conducting my field work this summer. For now I'll just post some of the coolest pictures that I took. I'll write something more substantive on what we were doing there in a little least after I have dried out my tent.

Our first stop once we arrived in Whitehorse was to the Yukon Archaeological Survey, who are kind enough to store our camping supplies for us when we aren't using them. A visit to the survey is always a cool experience since every ancient bone and artifact found in the territory is housed there. 

Mammoth leg bone.

They have quite a large collection of bones at the survey. It seems as though every square inch of the place as something cool in it. 

Gold rush era grave marker

Another gold rush era grave marker. Unfortunately the name is not legible. 
 Once we have picked up the gear it is time to head to the field. This year we were working the in Whitehorse area so we were able to camp near town and commute to the field every morning...super convenient!! In order to access our field area, which was located about 20 minutes south of Whitehorse, we would drive ATV's along the trails that cut through the watershed and collect samples from any creeks or springs that we came across. The trails in the watershed were a little rough and bumpy, but that just makes for fun ATVing and on the whole we were able to get around excellently, and did not get stuck once, despite some sketchy trail conditions in places.

The difficult driving conditions were well worth it though for the views of the watershed from the top of the mountains!

Golden Horn Mountain

View of Coal Lake and Coal Ridge

Granger Mountain and the permanent snowpatch that is always there.

On the shore of Coal Lake
Since we were driving around on the noisiest vehicles ever invented (ATV's) we did not see much in the way of wildlife.  I think this was for the best since we really did not feel like having to deal with bear troubles. However, we did see a few signs of life and even a few critters during the week to ensure us that the area was not completely devoid of animal life.

A marmot just chillin'

Wolf Creek deserves its name....this is a very fresh wolf track

I startled a caribou!

The caribou leaving. It is amazing how easily they can move over the terrain.
Thanks for reading.


P.S. This post is a bit of a milestone in that it marks the 50th published post on my blog!! Thanks to those who subscribe and read my posts. I appreciate your support. Here's to 50 more!!