Monday, January 17, 2011

What a Geologist Does [Original Post Date 3/29/10]

Aside from my part-time Geology job and my part-time teaching...

What I am doing right now includes (when time permits, largely on weekends):

1) Retyping/rewriting my Master's Thesis (from 1989) and scanning the photos and related 35 mm slides. (It was probably one of the last theses typed on an electric typewriter). Because of the binding, scanning all of the text would be a hassle.

The reason I am doing this is to be able to send some info to a vulcanologist with the Hawaii Volcano Observatory. A while back, he contacted me with information relating Hawaiian volcanic shatter rings with the Quaternary "explosion-collapse" craters that I studied in the Aden Basalts, in southern New Mexico. In other words, he thinks that the five craters I described are probably "shatter rings".

My thesis advisor and I had scoured the literature available in the middle and late 1980s and found no references pertaining to these craters, characterized by an encircling rampart of boulders and a collapsed central floor. If I can secure his permission to reference his work, I may work up an abstract for a GSA meeting next year, if it doesn't conflict with a more substantial publication he has in the works.

2) Continuing the work on my science-photo CD. For the last 8 years I have been compiling a database of photos to use in my Geology and Environmental Science lectures. At this time, I am trying to fill in some missing categories. There are currently 900+ photos applicable to Geology, Biology, Weather (clouds), and Environmental Science.

I am greatly looking forward to going back to NJ and NYC this summer to get some photos of the glacial features of Central Park and maybe some of the terminal moraines on Long Island. Maybe I will get some good photos of the Palisades of the Hudson and some of the coastal features of New Jersey, including Sandy Hook. I would also like to collect some samples of the garnet beach placers on Long Island, i.e., heavy mineral sands dominated by garnet fragments.

3) Continuing work on a compilation of Cretaceous & Tertiary well logs from Burke County, GA. This began 10+ years ago while a co-worker and I were working on a state geologic survey project in the vicinity of the Savannah River. My friend is a well-known Gulf Coastal Plain stratigrapher and his detailed well-log descriptions were too voluminous to put in the original reports and our goal was to produce a separate report, which would hopefully resolve some of the stratigraphic nomenclature and correlation issues between this part of Georgia and adjacent South Carolina. [If memory serves me correctly, my friend logged about 13,000 feet of core for the Tritium Project.]

With my friend's retirement to Albuquerque a few years ago, it has hindered work on this paper (he was actually here a couple of weeks ago, looking at other Coastal Plain cores and rewriting well logs - once a stratigrapher, always a stratigrapher). If we ever get this paper finished, even if it doesn't get published, if we can print a few copies onto CDs and send them to some local colleges that might be interested, at least someone would have access to the descriptions to the cores for future projects.

4) Learning the "Ins and Outs" of Google Earth in tying GE images to visited sites and sample locations. As for the sample locations, my junior college is building a sand sample collection, i.e., various beach, river, and dune sand samples and I would like to be able to tie location maps (and descriptions of source area geology) to the individual sand samples.

5) Revisiting the trace fossils I found in the Permian Cloud Chief Formation in Southern Ellis County, OK. Originally found in July, 2007 and ID'ed as "Arthropod locomotion marks" by the Oklahoma Geological Survey, I recently did an internet search and determined that these are very likely Arthropleurid trackways. Only one side of each set was preserved, perhaps because the centipede-like creature was wider than the individual rock slabs. Though I hope to revisit the area again to do some more collecting and documentation, I doubt that it will be this summer.

No comments:

Post a Comment