At the future site

At the future site of the Water Gap, you would have shoved off the white beach and set a westerly course across the sea-looking back from time to time up the V-shaped creases of steep mountain valleys. That was the world in which the older rock of the Water Gap had been forming-the braided-river conglomerates, […]

Front-rank geologists

There were new positions for about two hundred front-rank geologists. They were hired away from oil companies or brought in from elsewhere in the Survey. What attracted the people from the companies was the opportunity to do publishable research. To run the branch, Peter R. Rose gave up his position as a staff geologist of […]

Striations and grooves

They were transported from Canada, and by reading the fabric of the till and taking bearings from striations and grooves in the underlying rock-and by noting the compass orientation of drumlin hills, which look like sculptured whales and face in the direction from which their maker came-anybody can plainly see that the direction from which […]

The Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf of Mexico was a good example of a geosyncline, with a large part of the Rocky Mountains sitting in it as more than twenty-five thousand feet of silt, sand, and mud, siltstone, sandstone, and shale. “The South will rise again!” Deffeyes used to say. The huge body of sediment would one day be […]

Supergene enrichments

These were the deposits, richer than an Aztec dream, that were known to geologists as supergene enrichments. Miners called them surface bonanzas. In the eighteen-sixties, and particularly in the eighteen-seventies, they were discovered in range after range. A big supergene enrichment might be tens of yards wide and a mile long, lying at or near […]

Fossil assemblages

In this manner-with their fossil assemblages and faunal successions, their hammers decoding rock-geologists in the first eighty years of the nineteenth century constructed their scale of time. It was based on the irreversible history of life. Crossing the century, it both anticipated and confirmed Darwin. When the Devonian was defined in the light of the […]

Ordovician sea

Deffeyes said, “Let’s Richter the situation,” and he got out and crossed the road. With his hammer, he chipped at the rock, puzzled the cut. He scraped the rock and dropped acid on the scrapings. Tilted by the western breeze, the snow was dipping sixty degrees east. The bedding planes were dipping twenty degrees east; […]

Meteoric water

To anyone with a smoothly functioning bifocal mind, there was no lack of clarity about Iowa in the Pennsylvanian, Missouri in the Mississippian, Nevada in Nebraskan, Indiana in Illinoian, Vermont in Kansan, Texas in Wisconsinan time. Meteoric water, with study, turned out to be rain. It ran downhill in consequent, subsequent, obsequent, resequent, and not […]

Interdisciplinaire excursies

Maar als iedereen, van musicologen tot biologen, hetzelfde data├»stische paradigma overneemt, zullen interdisciplinaire excursies dat paradigma alleen maar kunnen versterken. Zelfs als het paradigma niet klopt, dan nog zal het dus uiterst moeilijk zijn om je ertegen te verzetten. Als het data├»sme uiteindelijk de wereld verovert, wat gebeurt er dan met ons mensen? In eerste […]