Monday, June 27, 2011

Favourite Geology Word

I've been thinking about the current Accretionary Wedge topic intermittently, because there are a lot of geology words I love, for either phonetic or geological reasons. But I've been preoccupied with my sister's wedding of late, and those words have buried themselves somewhere in the recesses of my mind. Now that I'm back home, I can start thinking about rocks again, and perhaps those words will come back to me.

In the meantime, there is a word that represents a lot of what my master's thesis is about and if used literally, speaks to why I became an earth scientist. Without further adieu, I give you,


Geohistory, or as I more often call it, subsidence analysis, analyzes a sediment column to reveal information about the tectonic conditions it was deposited in. You literally peel back the layers and try to restore the sediments to their depositional conditions. In the case of the master's thesis I am writing write now, I'm looking at subsurface wells in the Western Canada Foreland Basin to show the link between the Cordillera and the foreland basin.

I love this work because it is big picture geology. It ties together the mountains and the basin, and reinforces the fact that you have to understand the regional tectonic framework to study a sedimentary basin.

What does this have to do with why I became a geoscientist? From a very young age, I knew that whatever career I ended up having, I wanted to be a storyteller. I never imagined that I would be reading the rocks to understand and retell the story of the earth, but that's what we all do. In a very literal sense of the term, what we all do is geohistory.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Word Clouds

I am fascinated with graphic design, and I've been thinking a lot about word clouds lately. I love the look of them. I found a website this morning that makes word clouds, and decided to make one from the abstract for a talk I gave at the CSPG CSEG CWLS Annual Convention in May 2011 (Recovery 2011). Here it is:

Now I just need to figure out how to include something like this in my thesis...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

WOGE #289

Searching for Ron Schott's WOGE #288 felt a bit like being an explorer, following rivers across continents. Even with the last clue helping to narrow down the continent, it still took a while to find the right river. I have a renewed appreciation for the cool patterns left by meandering rivers on their floodplains. I've been casually following WOGE for some months, but I'm sure it is no coincidence that I took the time to really hunt this one down now that I'm supposed to be writing my thesis.

For those of you new to WOGE, the rules can be found here. This is my first time hosting WOGE, so I have no idea if it will be too hard or too easy, but since the last one took more than a few days, I'm not invoking the Schott Rule.

Click on the image to see the full width of the photo (including the North arrow)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mystery traces

For my first post on this blog, I'm going to share some photos of some mysterious traces a friend of mine discovered in August 2010 when we were doing field work in west-central Alberta. I've shown the photos to a few people in the geoscience department at the University of Calgary, but no one knows what it is. My first guess of some sort of cross between a deer and a trilobite seems unlikely.

Maybe there is someone out there who can solve the mystery...

Here's what is known about them:
-Found covering one side of a large boulder in a pile of rocks at the base of some cliffs
-The cliffs are cherty limestone, from the Lower Jurassic Nordegg Member of the Fernie Formation
-The rock is probably also Nordegg, but if it came from high enough up, it could be from the Rock Creek Member. It was wet and muddy and we didn't spend a lot of time figuring out what it was.