Category Archives: Geological Evolution of the Western United States

Shiprock

This picture was taken in September 1979. There is a print of it in my office, faded a bit. When I wax geological, the sheer improbability of this mineralogically unusual salient weighs heavily. High in Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium; low … Continue reading

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Rocks, The Origional Hard Data

You simply can’t deny rock. Kick it and it throbs your toe. They lie around us, largely ignored, Farmers curse them and pile them in walls, yet a few dedicated folks with pointed hammers have picked them to yield an … Continue reading

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Sorting Rocks

Here at the gymnosperm/trunkmonkey research institute we have been spending a lot of time sorting rocks. It is utter drudgery and we would have quit a long time ago had the results not been so intriguing. Basically, we belatedly discovered … Continue reading

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Follow the Granite

Granite is the currency in the construction of continents. Here we will time step through the existing surface expression of granites and related igneous and metamorphic rock in the Western US from the Archean to the present. Sediments are boring. … Continue reading

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Yellowstone Hot Spot, Or Not

Besides the ocean spreading ridges there are several mysterious “hot spots” evident in seamount chains where volatile components of the mantle emerge at a point as a more or less continuous volcano. The most famous of these is the Hawaiian/Emperor … Continue reading

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