This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series New Mexico

Shiprock Today we travel to the northwest section of New Mexico, just southeast of the Four Corners, to visit a unique form that rises from the desert. Topping at 7,177 feet and rising 1,583 above the surrounding plain is the gargantuan Shiprock. Shiprock – photo by Bowie Snodgrass Shiprock’s location in New Mexico – Map by …

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The Center Spins

The Center Spins A couple of years ago we learned we might need to reevaluate the layout of the planet that we learn in grade school. Instead of the quartet of crust, mantle, liquid outer core, and solid inner core, researchers used waves from earthquakes to determine the inner core might actually be comprised of two distinct …

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The Mingan Sorcerer

The Mingan Sorcerer The timescales of geology are fickle artists. Some of the planet’s great features require millions of years to craft; other spots arise in the blink of a universal eye. Of course, on human scales, both these poles are unfathomably large. On the northern shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Quebec, a master …

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The Tube Oven

The Tube Oven In our previous exploration, we discovered London’s subway system – the Underground, lovingly called the Tube – features some strange mosquitoes. The scientific oddities of the Underground don’t stop there, however. The British constructed the earliest tunnels near the surface, but they quickly realized they could produce conduits deeper in the earth. One …

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The Iron Catastrophe

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Structure of the Earth Theme Week

The Iron Catastrophe Everyone alive today owes their existence to a catastrophe. To explain that seemingly paradoxical statement, let’s foray into a brief overview of the universe, our sun, and the planet, courtesy of Columbia University. Somewhere around 13.8 billion years ago, the Big Bang kicked things off. There was hydrogen and only hydrogen. The …

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GLOFs & Jökulhlaups

GLOFs & Jökulhlaups When I was just a wee nerd, one year at the Ohio State Fair I happened upon a merchant selling packs of playing cards called Magic: the Gathering. I had no idea what they were. My mother and sister, who were with me, had no idea what the game was. But they looked really …

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Giant’s Causeway

Giant’s Causeway In the days of ancient yore, a Scottish giant named Benandonner challenged an Irish giant named Fionn mac Cumhaill to a fight. Fionn accepted the summons, but the giants had a problem. A sea lay between the two colossi, so Fionn constructed a causeway across the North Channel. The exact details are sketchy …

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