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Wednesday Wanderings

Today is absolutely gorgeous, so I wandered up to take advantage of the crystal clear skies & great views. Where am I?

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Wednesday Wanderings

I’ll keep with the India theme from last week and choose a few more pictures from the Giant Metre Radio Telescope (GMRT), which I visited last March as part of a whirlwind trip to Bangalore and Pune.  The telescope is located on the Deccan Plateau with the central cluster of antenna on some really lovely property owned by National Centre for Astrophysics (NCRA) and then branching out with a a few antenna up to 25 km away (map of the array).  At the center of the array, they have a heavily watered garden that includes a model of the distribution of the antenna:

model of the GMRT array located next to the central telescope

model of the GMRT array located next to the central telescope

We drove around the property a bit (all dirt roads), but didn’t have time to go and visit the antennas further out.  We did go into the central antenna, which was nicely air conditioned to make sure the electronics worked.  (March in India means that air conditioning is pretty welcome even if you do have to share it with servers.)

Because I was with astrophysicists and engineers, I didn’t have the chance to go and visit the local outcrops of the flood basalt up close and personal, so most of my pictures are of flowers:

just one of the many types of flowers cultivated at GMRT

just one of the many types of flowers cultivated at GMRT

I do have a few “geology” related pictures:

mud cracks in the grounds surrounding GMRT

mud cracks in the grounds surrounding GMRT

part of a rock sculpture in the garden at GMRT

part of a rock sculpture in the garden at GMRT

part of the garden rock sculpture

part of the garden rock sculpture

rock sculpture (?) at GMRT

rock sculpture (?) at GMRT

walls made up of basalt were everywhere

walls made up of basalt were everywhere

Inner courtyard at the research facility at GMRT.  I don't know whether the hexagon paving tiles were a nod to the local geology or not, but I thought they were a cool link to the flood basalts.

Inner courtyard at the research facility at GMRT. I don’t know whether the hexagon paving tiles were a nod to the local geology or not, but I thought they were a cool link to the flood basalts.

I’ve got some more “buildings constructed using cool basalt” pictures from Pune that I’ll share next week 🙂

 

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Wednesday wanderings

Its time to move on from the Italian rocks, but instead of reaching for recent blizzard pictures, I went for a different trip.  I dug out the following picture while working on my lecture notes for igneous rocks because of a student question about the rocks in this area.

where am I?

where am I?

Based on the randomness of where I took this picture, anyone who manages to name 1) what the picture is of and 2) where I took the picture from, I’ll send you your choice of type of Girl Scout cookies.

 

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Wednesday Wanderings

I’m going to finish off the month with one more picture from my recent Italian sojourn.

One thing I was highly impressed by in Italy with was the huge diversity of rock types used for statues, busts, church altars, flooring material, and building siding. I’ve got pictures on pictures that I took not really of the artwork, but of what it was made out of or what it was sitting on — unfortunately, with the semester starting so quickly after my trip, the majority are still on my D80. Hopefully when things calm down, I’ll be able to show them off a bit. But for now, this is an altar at the Chiesa del Gesu di Roma — note the diversity of rock types just in this one area of the church:

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I’m a bit late, so we’ll just go with another view of Vesuvius. This time the view is from Castel dell’Ovo (Castle of the Egg):

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Wednesday wanderings

I’m back in MA for the first week of the spring semester, so this week’s picture is from the warmer clime I just left. Points for both volcanoes names plus where I must have been to take the picture — warning, the latter is slightly tricky!

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Wednesday wanderings

I just got back from Naples & Rome, so today’s picture is another taken on the trip:

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Taken at Pompeii just outside the town’s walls. Not the difference in elevation between the current farm & the one abandoned after the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius.

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Wednesday Wanderings

As you might have noticed, I didn’t blog much in 2012. Some of it was being busy, but I also simply got out of the habit. I’m going to try for 2013 to improve on that record…

One thing I did manage in 2012, though, was to visit a number of new locales including my first forays out of my normal North American – European haunts. I’ve got pictures on pictures on pictures, so I’m going to try to dole them out over the course of the next few months. And I would start with one of those old trips, but as luck would have it, I’m currently celebrating New Years away from Boston. So, here’s my first picture for 2013:

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Just to make things interesting, where am I? If you can get down to street name, I’ll be impressed 🙂

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Callan started a geo-meme several days ago based on 101 American Geo-Sites You’ve Gotta See by Albert Dickas.

I’ve bolded the ones on the list that I’ve visited.

1. Wetumpka Crater, Alabama
2. Exit Glacier, Alaska
3. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
4. Meteor Crater, Arizona
5. Monument Valley, Arizona
6. Prairie Creek Pipe, Arkansas
7. Wallace Creek, California
8. Racetrack Playa, California
9. Devils Postpile, California
10. Rancho La Brea, California
11. El Capitan, California
12. Boulder Flatirons, Colorado
13. Interstate 70 Roadcut, Colorado
14. Florissant Fossil Beds, Colorado
15. Dinosaur Trackway, Connecticut
16. Wilmington Blue Rocks, Delaware
17. Devil’s Millhopper, Florida
18. Stone Mountain, Georgia
19. Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii
20. Borah Peak, Idaho
21. Menan Buttes, Idaho
22. Great Rift, Idaho
23. Valmeyer Anticline, Illinois
24. Hanging Rock Klint, Indiana
25. Fort Dodge Gypsum, Iowa
26. Monument Rocks, Kansas
27. Ohio Black Shale, Kentucky
28. Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
29. Four Corners Roadcut, Kentucky
30. Avery Island, Louisiana
31. Schoodic Point, Maine
32. Calvert Cliffs, Maryland
33. Purgatory Chasm, Massachusetts
34. Nonesuch Potholes, Michigan
35. Quincy Mine, Michigan
36. Grand River Ledges, Michigan
37. Sioux Quartzite, Minnesota
38. Thomson Dikes, Minnesota
39. Soudan Mine, Minnesota
40. Petrified Forest, Mississippi
41. Elephant Rocks, Missouri
42. Grassy Mountain Nonconformity, Missouri
43. Chief Mountain, Montana
44. Madison Slide, Montana
45. Butte Pluton, Montana
46. Quad Creek Quartzite, Montana
47. Ashfall Fossil Beds, Nebraska
48. Scotts Bluff, Nebraska
49. Crow Creek Marlstone, Nebraska
50. Sand Mountain, Nevada
51. Great Unconformity, Nevada — at the very questionable outcrop just outside Vegas…
52. Flume Gorge, New Hampshire
53. Palisades Sill, New Jersey
54. White Sands, New Mexico
55. Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
56. Shiprock Peak, New Mexico
57. State Line Outcrop, New Mexico
58. American Falls, New York
59. Taconic Unconformity, New York 
60. Gilboa Forest, New York — 8th grade fieldtrip
61. Pilot Mountain, North Carolina
62. South Killdeer Mountain, North Dakota
63. Hueston Woods, Ohio
64. Big Rock, Ohio
65. Kelleys Island, Ohio
66. Interstate 35 Roadcut, Oklahoma
67. Mount Mazama, Oregon
68. Lava River Cave, Oregon
69. Drake’s Folly, Pennsylvania — I even have a bottle of oil from the well tapped on the 150th anniv
70. Hickory Run, Pennsylvania
71. Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania
72. Beavertail Point, Rhode Island
73. Crowburg Basin, South Carolina
74. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
75. Mammoth Site, South Dakota
76. Pinnacles Overlook, South Dakota
77. Reelfoot Scarp, Tennessee
78. Enchanted Rock, Texas
79. Capitan Reef, Texas
80. Paluxy River Tracks, Texas
81. Upheaval Dome, Utah
82. Checkerboard Mesa, Utah
83. San Juan Goosenecks, Utah
84. Salina Canyon Unconformity, Utah
85. Bingham Stock, Utah
86. Whipstock Hill, Vermont
87. Great Falls, Virginia
88. Natural Bridge, Virginia
89. Millbrig Ashfall, Virginia
90. Catoctin Greenstone, Virginia
91. Mount St. Helens, Washington
92. Dry Falls, Washington
93. Seneca Rocks, West Virginia
94. Roche-A-Cri Mound, Wisconsin
95. Van Hise Rock, Wisconsin
96. Amnicon Falls, Wisconsin
97. Green River, Wyoming
98. Devils Tower, Wyoming
99. Fossil Butte, Wyoming
100. Steamboat Geyser, Wyoming
101. Specimen Ridge, Wyoming

I’ve only got 25 from the original, plus 4 on the “extra” list.  Obviously, time for a road trip!

Callan‘s additions:

102. Purgatory Chasm, Rhode Island
103. Volcanic Tableland (Bishop Tuff), California
104. Ringing Rocks, Montana
105. The Whaleback, Pennsylvania
106. Compton Peak, Virginia
107. Jockey’s Ridge, North Carolina
108. Mauna Kea summit, Hawaii
109. Tumbling Run, Virginia
110. Adirondacks, New York

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I’m going to India on Saturday mainly just to go to India.   However, in order to justify the trip, I’m giving a talk on Tuesday, 13. March in Bangalore on x-ray tomography.   If anyone happens to be in the area, please come!   I’ll try to post a summary of the key points of the talk up either before I go or right after I get back.

My other goal for this trip to pick up a few pieces of Deccan flood basalt 🙂

__________________________________________

Raman Research Institute
Bangalore

Seminar

High-resolution X-ray Computed Tomography — a non-destructive method to
visualize the interior of solid objects

Elizabeth R. Goeke
Salem State University, USA

Abstract:  Application of High-resolution X-ray computed tomography (CT) to
study the internal spatial relationships in a wide-range of geological
materials has grown in the past decade.   CT scans are non-destructive,
relatively quick to obtain, and a wide-array of measurement and
visualization methods have been developed  to analyze the data.   Comparison
between CT methods and traditional destructive  serial sectioning results in
analyses that closely correspond and are usually within error of each other.
The variation of X-ray attenuation within objects relates closely to density
and is used to differentiate between variations in the materials or phases
within the analyzed sample.  High-resolution CT analysis has a scale of
resolution of approximately ~100 microns, while ultra-high-resolution scans
may reach ~10 microns.   Commercial high-resolution CT scanners are
available and require only counter-top space for setup as well as several
computers to process the data.   In addition to being safe to use on rare
samples such as meteorites and fossils, CT analysis has also been applied to
crystal size distribution studies in metamorphic and igneous rocks,
microstructural analysis of shear zones, characterization of soil and
pore-space morphology, and distribution of economic mineral genesis and
processing.

on Tuesday,  13 March 2012, at 11:30 a.m.
Venue: Library Block lecture hall
All  are  welcome

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