Monday, December 21, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Note that there are 638 earthquakes on this map, and all happened in the last week (!). Most were very small, and detected only by seismometers. The USGS and the CA Geological Survey spend a lot of time and effort on earthquake preparedness. This includes tsunami warning systems.
It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since the 1989 Loma Prieta quake, which stopped game 3 of the World Series.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
A postmaster in Cornelius, Oregon, has asked for help in celebrating "the joy of small works of art and the beauty of personal communication".
Check out http://postcardmailart.blogspot.com/
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Welcome to Postcard Friendship Friday, hosted by Marie at the French Fractrice.
This is an oversized postcard (6 by 8 inches) published by the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM. I have scanned it at a higher resolution than usual so there should be detail visible if you double-click on the image.
The back has a good summation of the general geologic history and so I will quote it here, with my comments in [ and ] brackets.
"The rocks of New Mexico reveal a long and complex of deposition, volcanic eruptions, structural deformation [due to plate tectonics as described in earlier posts], and climatic extremes -- from intensely folded Precambrian cores of mountain ranges more than 600 million years old to black basalts that flowed across the landscape as recently as 900 AD. White sand dunes today move slowly across the world's largest gypsum [a calcium sulfate mineral] desert, where waves of water once broke upon the shores of vanished lakes. New Mexico's extensive mineral and energy resources are a result of this colorful history -- petroleum and natural gas, coal, copper, uranium, gold, silver, molydenum [used for specialty steel] , lead, zinc, barite [a source of barium], fluorite [mined for fluorine, used in industry], gypsum [mined for drywall, aka sheetrock], perlite [see Wikipedia entry] , potash [used in fertilizer], and sand and gravel."
A Virtual Geologic Tour of New Mexico from the Bureau.
Major cities shown on the map are Farmington, Santa Fe (the capital), Albuquerque, Socorro, Las Cruces, and of course, Roswell.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This card is Tuck's card, mailed from London Jan. 23 1907 (and postmarked 10 AM!) to Littehampton. It is part of the series "Picturesque England" and depicts Hayes Common near Bromley.
The cryptic message is:
"I feel very selfish about Nell, really the time flies so quickly & I am afraid that Local work takes up more of my time than it should, however, I have written asking her about a trip to town, which we arranged for at Christmas. Writing later about steamer (?) A."
"Town" would be London, and steamer refers to a ship, but beyond that.....
We'll just have to let the veil fall between us and the past.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
[The following information is from a remote sensing tutorial published by NASA.]
Major C.E. Dutton, an early explorer of the American West, described these mountains as they appeared on a map as resembling "an army of caterpillars crawling northward out of Mexico".
Hmm, I see what he's saying. Below is a color - coded relief map (relief: the ups and downs of the landscape) of NV.
The mountains are uplifted parts of older continental crust. This area was being pulled apart, slowly, and the pieces in-between sank lower. The valleys are filled with a lot of sediment that has eroded from the ranges and partially filled them up. This is what the area looks like from the air.
Some of these peaks are significant. Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park is about 13,000 ft (4000 m) tall. What little rain or snow there is falls on these peaks and so the heights are green with pine trees, even white with snow. It is quite different from the dry, hot, desert valleys in between!
There is a wonderful part of the East Humboldt Range where erosion had sculpted the ridges in amazing ways, and the ridge is so thin that there is a hole right through it! This, of course, is called the Hole-in-the-Wall (or Lizzie's Window), near Hole-in-the-Wall Mountain. Please see this website for hiking in the area. The photos are amazing, but copyrighted, so I am not going to reproduce them here.
Las Vegas is way to the south of the state. Many areas in the middle of the state are very sparsely populated. With renewed gold mining in some areas in the north, population has grown somewhat.
Much more detail from about.com: http://geology.about.com/library/bl/maps/blnevadamap.htm
Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology: http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/
Thursday, November 5, 2009
"This Geologic Map of Wyoming was reproduced from a part of Geological Highway map n. 5 (1972), Northern Rocky Mountain Region, published by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, P.O. Box 979, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74101. For a free publications list or for information on geologic and topographic map coverage of Wyoming, contact the Wyoming State Geological Survey at 307-766-2286."
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
With our lovely hostess Marie at Vintage Postcards. Her postcard and story this week ... Shocking!
Not so shocking: Bedrock Geology of Wisconsin
From the back: :An example of one of many maps available from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. Write to the M.A.P.S. Office for a free list of publications.
Geological and Natural History Survey, 3817 Mineral Point Road, Madison, Wisconsin. "
Here in Wisconsin there are older flat-lying layers of sedimentary rocks of Devonian and Ordovician in age, but also some much older rocks. See the geologic time scale on this web page. There is also a PDF (handy when reading my blog ;-) )
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Sedimentary rocks ranging in age from about 510 million (Cambrian) to 290 million (Pennsylvanian) are at the bedrock surface in Illinois and were deposited in and near ancient fluctuating seas. Cretaceous sands and gravels deposited in extreme southern and western Illinois are about 100 to 66 million years old. Tertiary rocks were deposited as coastal plain and deltaic sediments between 66 and 2 million years ago. Coal, oil and gas, building stone, fluorite, clays, groundwater and other resources in the bedrock contribute several billion dollars annually to the Illinois economy.
Illinois Geological Survey, 615 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois.
In Europe, The time period correlating to the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian periods is known as the Carboniferous. It was a time of great swamps, both in physical extent and how long they lasted. Large amounts of plant material were deposited, which later changed to coal. Half of the USA’s electricity is generated from Coal-fired power plants, so this is still a major commodity. (It sells for $40 - $50 a short ton – don’t ask what a short ton is!) See more information (LOTS more) at the Energy Information Administration http://www.eia.doe.gov/fuelcoal.html.
Fluorite is a mineral with the chemical composition CaF2 – calcium fluoride. It is mined for the fluorine for industrial purposes.
We are in the heart of the continent – lots of flat-lying sedimentary rocks here.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
This post office should NOT be confused with the Chesterfield MA post office, less than 2 miles away on route 143, with the zip code of 01012-9998.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Published by the Florida Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Today's card is published by the State of Alabama Geological Survey. "Compiled from Special Map 221 of the Geological Survey of Alabama."
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
What is it? “It's a project that allows anyone to receive postcards (real ones, not electronic) from random places in the world.”
You send a postcard to an unknown person anywhere in the world. After they receive it and register it, your name goes in the queue for a random person to send a postcard to you. At the beginning, you may send up to 5 postcards at a time.
I was skeptical at first, and wondered if problems could arise – after all, you have to put in your real name and mailing address. Also I was doing this to help my 7 year old daughter with a second grade geography project. I wasn’t going to put HER name in the system!
I chose to send 4 postcards, to Finland, Australia, Germany, and Norway. This included a mom of a 2 year old, a student studying in Cologne, a woman genetics engineer. All sounded like such great interesting people! As they registered my postcards, I was free to then send more. I sent a few more postcards.
Then, a few postcards trickled in. The first was a boring card from Finland. Then one from Taiwan. Then a card from Austria with a reproduction of a painting of a beautiful Austrian princess. A scene from an Irish market town, signed by a mom with 3 children the same age as mine. Then, one from an 8 year boy in Poland, signed up and helped with his English by a neighbor. Well, my children thought this was the greatest thing! Children just like them, sending postcards! That’s when my daughter insisted she wanted her own Postcrossing account.
Since then I have exchanged with at least 3 school groups involved in Postcrossing as a school project, and one home-schooled family also involved in teaching geography this way. I have also exchanged with high school and college students, home-bound people, retirees, and people who love postcards and stamps. In 500 days I have sent 244 postcards, and received 229. I have sent or received cards from 47 countries.
Yesterday the mail delivered my biggest haul of Postcrossing postcards yet – 6!
1. Germany: From a young woman in the tourist industry.
2. Brazil: From a 13 year old boy in an English Language program, sending cards and writing in English as part of an assignment to improve his English. His card was a great photo of Rio de Janeiro.
3. Czech Republic: a man close to my age, very active in Postcrossing, from a small village near Pilsen, who sent a card of a beautiful rushing stream in a Czech nature preserve.
4. Thailand: Postcard of an elephant being trained to paint (!) from Ting.
5. Portugal: From Ana, close to my age and mom of 3 children.
6. Netherlands: from a high school student who loves music and plays the oboe.
Why do I write this entry today? Well, because I received 6 postcards in the mail… but also because I heard from A Postcard a Day that she drew my name in Postcrossing! How unusual is that? It is such a small world.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Postcard of Hanau am Main – Marktplatz, Dated Friday Aug. 25, postmarked Aug 26 1961 by the US Army Air Force Postal service. Addressed to Gregg Spence in Dayton Ohio.
“Here at Hanau, just outside Frankfurt, we found Capt. Don and family greeting us at the airport. After touring in Holland, France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland, we are glad to be with our own people. The tense feeling over Berlin has decreased somewhat. Next we go to Bremen and British Isles. When we return, I want to see if the porch roof has leaks, see back steps and find leak on big roof – [illegible]"
Just one sentence but what a piece of history. I direct you to http://www.dailysoft.com/berlinwall/ and the Wikipedia entry on the Berlin Wall for background history.
The first iteration of the wall was constructed during the night of August 12-13, 1961. All border crossings to East Germany were closed. Barbed wire and rolled barbed wire (concertina wire) were strung up. See image below.
Streets were torn up, and the rail lines and subway lines connecting East and West were broken. Soon, the building of a solid wall began. As of August 23, citizens of West Berlin were no longer allowed to enter East Berlin. On September 20, forced evacuation of houses immediately at the border started. (People were jumping from the windows, you see, and running to West Berlin).
The West did not really respond except with words, and the building of the wall continued. Who knew what importance the Berlin Wall would have over time? At the moment, maybe a leaky roof in Dayton Ohio was more important to the writer. What aspects of history are happening today that we are overlooking?
November 9, 2009 will be the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
From the back: "Detailed geologic maps for all areas of Kentucky, as well as reports about Kentucky's geology and mineral and water resources, are available from: Kentucky Geological Survey, 228 Mining and Mineral Resources Bldg., University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0107."
This is an older postcard, no Internet address, so I am not sure if the Survey is still at this address.
The Legend has the color coding for the rocks of different ages - the geological periods - from oldest at the bottom to youngest at top. Alluvium means recent river deposits. Yes, geology students have to memorize these names - in order too!
The rocks in Kentucky are all sedimentary rocks. the Pennsylvanian rock formations have many layers of coal, for which KY is well-known. The electricity powering my house and my laptop comes from burning coal, sending CO2 into the atmosphere.
The black lines are faults. These are areas where one side of the earth's crust has moved relative to the other side. It could have moved sideways, or up and over, or slide down and away.
Notice the line with 'teeth' on it in the lower right or southeast portion of the state. This is Pine Mountain Fault, an area where one part of the earth's crust was shoved up and over to the northwest, and the rocks are tilted as a result.
If you drew a cross section from London KY to Middlesboro KY showing the layers underneath, it might look like this image from the KY Geological Survey.
I have not been feeling well but I am getting better. And I miss Marie's posts at vintage postcards. Oh well, keep on blogging, even if no one comments. See you Friday for PFF I hope!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Sent to Miss Margaret Spence, Woodbridge, Conn., from Mrs. George Pierce of Providence RI. Postmarked 1947.
After MuseSwings did her series of postcards from Private Burns, Florida post cards jump out at me. (You must see her series of posts of his 5 postcards sent to his wife Anna during WW2.) I noticed a group of postcards at an antique mall, with the Miami Beach folder on top.
A folder holds a number of images, in a fan fold. They are not for mailing individually because they are printed with images on both sides.
Pvt. Burns also sent a postcard of the 41st street bridge, which crosses over to the wealthy community of Indian Creek. Muse Swings has described this area well.