Narrow canyons

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He resigned to return to Wyoming with the U.S. Geological Survey, at first to pursue an assignment critical to the Second World War. The year was i942, and the United States was desperately short of vanadium, an alloy that enables steel to be effective as armor plate. Working out of Afton, in the Overthrust Belt, he looked for the metal in Permian rock. He first identified vanadium habitat (where it was in beds of black shale), and then-in winter-built a sawmill and cabins and made zakelijke energie vergelijken his own timbers for eight new mines. Afton was a Mormon redoubt. The municipal patriarch had thirtyfour children. The Loves and the haberdasher Isidor Schuster were the only Gentiles in town. Love enlisted some Mormon farmers and taught them how to mine. They worked in narrow canyons, where avalanches occurred many times a day, coming two thousand feet down the canyon walls. David was caught in one, swept away as if he were in a cold tornado, and badly injured. He lay in a hospital many weeks. Not much of him was not damaged. His complete statement of the diagnosis is “It stretched me out.” After the mines were well established, the Loves moved to Laramie, where he set up the field office that he would stay in for the rest of his U.S.G.S. career. His children grew up in Laramie. Frances now teaches French in public schools in zakelijke energie Oklahoma. The Loves’ two sons-Charles and David-are both geologists. Barbara is director of academic programs at Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute, in Spokane, a branch campus of Mukogawa Women’s University, in Nishinomiya, Japan. Gradually-as regional field offices were closed and geologists were being consolidated in large federal centers in Menlo Park (California), Reston (Virginia), and Denver-Love became vestigial in the structure of the Survey. He resisted these bureaucratic winds even when they were stiffe r than the winds that come over the Medicine Bows. “The tendency has been to have all the geologists play in one sand pile,” he once explained diplomatically. And here his friend Malcolm McKenna, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, took up the theme: “Dave chose to stay where the geology is, and not to go up the ladder. He was so competent the Survey tried to get him to go out of Wyoming, but he wouldn’t go. His is one of the few field offices left. The Survey gets information from people in addition to providing it. People stop in to see Dave. When he goes, the office in Laramie will close-and that will be a loss to Wyoming. While a whole bunch of people sit in little cubicles in Denver, Dave is close to the subject. He can walk out the door in the morning and do important stuff.”

A pack of ferocious wolfhounds

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There was a pack of ferocious wolfhounds in the country, kept by another flockmaster for the purpose of killing coyotes. The dogs seemed to relish killing rattlesnakes as well, shaking the life out of them until the festive serpents hung from the hounds’ jaws like fettuccine. The ranch hand in charge of them said, “They ain’t happy in the spring till they’ve been bit. They’re used to it now, and their heads don’t swell up no more.” Human beings (on foot) who happened to encounter these dogs might have preferred to encounter the  zakelijke energie rattlesnakes instead. One summer afternoon, John Love was working on a woodpile when he saw two of the wolfhounds streaking down the creek in the direction of his sons, whose ages were maybe three and four. “Laddies! Run! Run to the house!” he shouted.
“Here come the hounds!” The boys ran, reached the door just ahead of the dogs, and slammed it in their faces. Their mother was in the kitchen:
The hounds, not to be thwarted so easily, leaped together furiously at the kitchen windows, high above the ground. They shattered the glass of the small panes, and tried to struggle through, their front feet catching over the inside ledge of the window frame, and their heads, with slavering mouths, reaching through the broken glass. I had only time to snatch a heavy iron frying pan from the stove and face them, beating at those clutching feet and snarling heads. The terrified boys cowered behind me. The window sashes held against the onslaught of the zakelijke energie vergelijken hounds, and my blows must have daunted them. They dropped back to the ground and raced away.
In the boys’ vocabulary, the word “hound” joined the word “throat” in the deep shadows, and to this day when David sees a wolfhound there is a drop in the temperature of the center of his spine.

All hell broke loose

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Then all hell broke loose, and the granite rose beneath them. The granite core came up like a basement elevator that rises through a city sidewalk, pushing to either side a pair of hinged doors. That was the chronology of numerous ranges-the old hard stuff from far below breaking upward through roofrock and ultimately standing highest, while the ends of the roofrock lean on the flanks in gradations of age that are younger with distance from the core. The broken ends of that Pennsylvanian sand-the outcropping edges of the tilted strata-had weathered out as a rough, serrate ridge along the border of the range. Rocky Mountain ranges are typically flanked by such hogbacks. Boulder, Colorado, is backdropped with hogbacks (the Flatirons), which zakelijke energie vergelijken are more of the same Pennsylvanian strata leaning against the Front Range. Now, on the gangplank, Love said parenthetically, “You are seeing Paleozoic rocks for the first time since the Mississippi River. They go all the way through-under Iowa and Nebraska-but they’re buried.” In the fall of i865, Major General Grenville Dodge and his pack trains and cavalry and other troops were coming south along the St. Vrain Trail, under the front of the Laramie Range. The Powder River campaign, behind them, had been, if not a military defeat, a signal failure in its purpose: to cow the North Cheyennes and the Ogallala Sioux. General Dodge, though, was preoccupied with something else. President Lincoln, not long before he died, had instructed Dodge to choose a route for the Union Pacific Railroad. Dodge, like others before him, had sought the counsel of zakelijke energie Jim Bridger, the much celebrated trapper, explorer, fur trader, commercial entrepreneur, and all-around mountain man. Bridger, who was sixty by then, had preceded almost everybody else into the West by two or three decades and knew the country as few other whites ever would. It was he who discovered the Great Salt Lake, reporting his find as the Pacific Ocean.

Tensleep-Casper-Fountain

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There would be a risen continent reaching its coast, with rivers running over bare rock past not so much as a lichen. There would be rich-red soil on a broad lowland plain resembling Alabama (but near the equator). There would be clear, warm shelf seas. There would also be a picture of dry hot dunes, all of them facing the morning sun-the rising Miocene sun. Other-and much older-dunes would settle a great question, for it is impossible to tell now whether they were just under or just out of water. They covered all of Wyoming and a great deal more, and my have been very much like the Libyan Desert: the Tensleep-Casper-Fountain Pennsylvanian sands. There would be a picture, too, of a meandering stream, with overbank deposits, natural levees, cycads growing by the stream. Footprints the size of washtubs. A head above the trees. In the background, swamp tussocks by the shore of an oxbow lake. What was left of that picture was the Morrison formation-the Jurassic landscape of particularly dramatic dinosaurs-outcropping just up the road. There would be various views of the great Cretaceous seaway, with its plesiosaurs, its giant tmtles, its crocodiles. There would be a picture from the Paleocene of a humid subtropical swamp, and a picture from the Eocene of kantoor per uur amsterdam gravel bars in a fast river running off a mountain onto lush subtropical plains, where puppysize horses were hiding for their lives. Such pictures, made in this place, could form a tall stackscene after scene, no two of them alike. Taken together, of course -set one above another, in order-they would be the rock column for this part of Wyoming. They would correlate with what one would see in the well log of a deep-drilling rig. There would be hiatuses, to be sure. In the rock column, anywhere, more time is missing than is there; so much has been eroded away. Besides, the rock in the column is more apt to commemorate a moment-an eruption, a flood, a fallen drop of rain-than it is to report a millennium. Like a news broadcast, it is more often a montage of disasters than a cumulative kantoor per uur eindhoven record of time. I asked Love why so much of the earth’s history happened to be here on the surface in this nondescript part of the state. He said, “It just came up in the soup. Why it is out here all by itself is a matter of fierce debate.” The Rawlins Uplift had not accomplished nothing.

Travelling in Europe

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“Somebody will be shot,” said Longfellow, explaining that Emerson was too vague to be trusted with a gun. Longfellow’ s works of poetry include a birthday ballad in praise of Agassiz, which Longfellow read aloud at the Saturday Club, and in which Nature addressed the Professor:
“Come wander with me,” she said, “Into regions yet untrod; And read what is still unread In the manuscripts of God.”
John Greenleaf Whittier also wrote a poem about Agassiz, more than a hundred lines in length, ten of which are these:
Said the Master to the youth: ‘We have come in search of truth, Trying with uncertain key Door by door of mystery; We are reaching, through His laws, To the garment-hem of Cause, Him, the endless, unbegun, The unnmneable, the One Light of all our light the Source, Life of life, and Force of force.”
Longfellow, travelling in Europe in i868, called on Charles Darwin. “What a set of men you have in Camb1idge,” Darwin said to him. “Both our universities put together cannot furnish the like. Why, there is Agassiz-he counts for three.” Darwin’s generosity was remarkable in the light of Agassiz’s reaction to The Origin of Species. As Agassiz summarized it: “The world has arisen in some way or co-working space amsterdam other. How it originated is the great question, and Darwin’s theory, like all other attempts to explain the origin of life, is thus far merely conjectural. I believe he has not even made the best conjecture possible in the present state of our knowledge.” Agassiz never accepted Darwinian evolution. Many years earlier, as a young man, and as a result of his paleontological researches, he wrote the following:
More than fifteen hundred species co-working space eindhoven of fossil fishes with which I have become acquainted say to me that the species do not pass gradually from one to the other, but appear and disappear suddenly without direct relations with their predecessors; for I do not think that it can be seriously maintained that the numerous types of Cycloids and Ctenoids, which are nearly all contemporaneous with each other, descend from the Placoids and Ganoids. It would be as well to affirm that the mammals, and man with them, descend directly from fishes.

The new and reversed eastern rivers

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The new and reversed eastern rivers differentially eroded the Appalachian structures. Where they got into the shales and the carbonates, they dug deep and wide. Where they found quartzite and other metamorphic rock, they encountered tough resistance. Sometimes, working down into the country, they came to the arching quonset roofs of anticlines, and slicing their way through quartzite found limestones within. It was like slicing into the foil around a potato and finding the soft interior. The water would remove the top of the arch, dig a valley far down inside, and leave quartzite stubs to either side as ridges flanking the carbonate valley. Streams eroding headward ate up the hillsides back into the mountainsides, digging grooves toward the nearest divide. On the other side was another stream, doing the same. Working into the mountain, the two streams drew closer to each other until the divide between them broke down and they were now confluent, one stream co-working spce rotterdam changing direction, captured. In this manner, some thousands of streams-consequent streams, pirate streams, beheaded streams, defeated streams-formed and re-formed, shifting valleys, making hundreds of water gaps with the general and simple objective of finding in the newly tilted landscape the shortest possible journey to the sea. A gap abandoned by its streams is called a wind gap. In the regional context, the water gap of the Delaware River is a little less phenomenal than it once appeared to be. Until about i970, the picture in vogue of the early Cenozoic American East was of a vast peneplain, a flat world of scant relief, with oxbowed meandering rivers heading almost nowhere. The assault of water on the ancestral mountains was thought to have worn down the whole topography close to sea level. The peneplain then rose up, according to the hypothesis, and rivers dissected it, flushing out the soft rock and leaving hard co-working space utrecht rock high, in the form of remarkably level ridges-as flat as the peneplain, of which they were thought to be remnants. Where the rivers of the peneplain had flowed across the tops of buried ridges, they cut down through them as the ridges came up-making gaps. That was the history as it was taught for three-quarters of a century. It was known as the hypothesis of the Schooley Peneplain, after Schooley Mountain, in New Jersey, which looks like an aircraft carrier. The Schooley Peneplain is out of vogue. It is an emeritus idea. It has been replaced by a story out of steady-state physics having to do with the relationship of level ridgelines to certain degrees of slope. A graduate student once remarked to me that old hypotheses never really die. He said they’re like dormant volcanoes.

The well-known Cuyahoga

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We crossed a river. “That was the well-known Cuyahoga,” she said. “If you swim in it, you dissolve.” The Cuyahoga was flowing south. It rises in northeasternmost Ohio, runs south into Akron, then reverses its direction, swinging north through Cleveland and into Lake Erie. Morewarningsignsflashedby. “STAY AWAKE! STAY ALIVE!” Anita said, ‘Tm trying. I’m trying.” Now spanning the road was an Italianate steel-arch bridge, standing on Berea sandstone, a fragment of the Berea Delta, of early Mississippian age, which had extended its bird-foot shape far into Ohio Bay. We stopped, and picked quartz pebbles the size of golf balls out of a conglomerate there. “These would have been just offshore,” she said. “You can take the pebbles out of the rock with your hands because it was never hated up like the conglomerate at the Delaware Water Gap. This was never buried much. It is not well lithified. It hasn’t experienced enough heat to get tough.” A few miles west, we crossed the Cuyahoga River again, and looked down some distance from the interstate bridge into the Cuyahoga’s extensively reamed-out valley, with its modest, meandering stream. “It’s an underfit stream,” said Anita. “A little half-ass stream in a valley made wide by glacier ice. The co-working space amsterdam Cuyahoga’s valley was steepened and entrenched, like Yosemite.” “You are comparing the Cuyahoga Valley with Yosemite?” “Technically.” We left the interstate and followed the valley into Cleveland.
The Cuyahoga River had suffered a bad press. When it caught fire some years before, it attracted national attention. Its percentage of water had become low relative to its content of hydrogen in various combinations with carbon. The river burned so fiercely that two railroad bridges were nearly destroyed. There was no mention in the papers of the good things the river had done. It had made parks. It had been there before the glacier ice and had cut down five hundred feet through Mississippian formations into Senecan and Chautauquan time-stages of the late Devonian. It cut deep ravines, which the ice later broadened into canyons. The ice augered through the V-shaped valley and turned it co-working space eindhoven into a U. Which is what ice did at Yosemite-with the difference that the walls of Yosemite are speckled white granite, while the canyon walls of Cleveland are flaky black gasiferous anoxic shale. As mud, the shale was deposited in quiet water in a late Devonian sea.

The mountains

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In Precambrian, Cambrian, and much of Ordovician time, rivers ran southeastward off the American continent into the Iapetan ocean. Then the continental shelf bent low, and the Martinsburg muds poured into the depression from the east. Whether they were coming from Africa, Europe, or some accretionary, displaced, hapless Taiwan is completely unestablished, but what is not unestablished is the evidence preserved in the sediment-sand waves, ripple marks, crossbedded point bars-showing currents that flowed west and northwest. In later rock, such evidence is everywhere, showing eastern American rivers flowing toward what is now the middle of the continent all through the rest of Paleozoic time. As each successive orogeny produced another uplift in the east, fresh rivers would pour from it, building their conference room amsterdam depositional wedges, their minor and major deltas, but running always in a westerly direction. The last orogeny was pretty much spent about two hundred and fifty million years ago, in the Permian. For some tens of millions of years after that, the mountains were reduced by weather in a tectonically quiet world. Then, in early Mesozoic time, “earth forces” began to pull the terrain apart. According to present theory, the actual split, deep enough to admit seawater, came at some point in the Jurassic. The Atlantic opened. On the American side of the break, extremely short steep rivers flowed into the new sea, but for the most part the drainages of what is now the eastern seaboard continued to flow west. By Cretaceous time, the conference room eindhoven currents had reversed, assuming the present direction of the Penobscot, the Connecticut, the Hudson, the Delaware, the Susquehanna, the Potomac, the James. Rivers come and go. They are younger by far than the rock on which they run. They wander all over their valleys and sometimes jump out. They reverse themselves and occasionally disappeartheir behavior differentiated by textures in the solid earth below. The tightly folded Appalachians are something like the ribs of a washboard. The direction of the structure lies across the direction of scrubbing. In the Paleozoic era, when the tectonic washboard was made and repeatedly lifted from the east, falling rainwater, gathering in streams, found its way westward across the ribs.

The Acadian mountains

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A third revolution would follow-the Alleghenian Orogeny, in Pennsylvanian-Permian time. Another mountain wave would crest, break, and send its swash to westward. It was all very repetitive, to be sure-the great ranges rising, falling, rising, falling, covering and creating landscapes, as if successive commingling waters were to rush up a beach and freeze. But why? How? You see in rock that geology repeats itself, but you do not see what started the process. In the rivers in rock you find pieces of mountains, but you do not find out why the mountains were there. I said to Anita, “What made the mountains rise?” “The Acadian mountains?” “All of them-Taconic, Acadian, Alleghenian. What made them come up in the first place?” It has been Anita’s style as a geologist to begin with an outcrop and address herself to history co-working space amsterdam from there-to begin with what she can touch, and then to reason her way back through time as far as she can go. A river conglomerate, as tangible rock, unarguably presents the river. The river speaks of higher ground. The volume of sediment that the river has carried can imply a range of mountains. To find Precambrian jaspers in the beds of younger rivers means that the Precambrian, the so-called basement rock, was lifted to form the mountains. These are sensible inferences drawn cleanly through an absence of alternatives. To go back in this way, retrospectively, from scene to shifting scene, is to go down the rock column, groping toward the beginning of the world. There is firm ground some of the way. Eventually, there comes a point where inference will shade into conjecture. In recesses even more remote, conjecture may usurp the original franchise of God. By reputation, Anita is a scientist with an exceptionally practical mind, a geologist with few weaknesses, who is at home in igneous and metamorphic petrology no less than in sedimentology. She has been described as an outstanding biostratigrapher, a co-working space eindhoven paleontologist who knows the rocks in the field and can go up to a problem and solve it. In my question to her, I was, I will confess, rousing her a little. I knew what her answer would be. “I don’t know what made the mountains come up in the first place,” she said. “I have some ideas, but I don’t know. The plate-tectonics boys think they know.”

Durham boats

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I have often thought of those canvases-with their Durham boats on the water and cows in the meadows and chuffing locomotives on the Pennsylvania sidein the light of Anita’s comment that you would understand a great deal of the history of the eastern continent if you understood all that had made possible one such picture. She was suggesting, it seemed to me, a sense of total composition-not merely one surface composition visible to the eye but a whole series of preceding compositions which in the later one fragmentarily endure and are incorporated into its substance-with materials of vastly differing age drawn together in a single scene, a composite canvas not only from the Hudson River School but including everything else that had been a part of the zones of time represented by the boats, gravels, steeples, cows, trains, talus, cutbanks, and kames, below a mountain broken open by a river half its age. The mountain touched the Martinsburg, and its rock was the younger by at least ten million years. Kittatinny Mountain is largely quartzite, the primary component of the hubs of Hell. In the posttectonic, profoundly eroded East, quartzite has tended to stand up high. The Martinsburg is soft, and is therefore valley. There is nothing but time between the two. Where the formations meet, a touch of a finger will cover both the beginning and the end of the ten million years, which are dated at about 440 and 430 million years before the present-from flexplek huren amsterdam latest Ordovician time to a point in the early Silurian. During that time, something apparently lifted the Martinsburg out of its depositional pit and held it above sea level until weathers wore it low enough to be ready to accept whatever might spread over it from higher ground. The quartzite-as sandspread over it, coming down from Taconic mountains. The sand became sandstone. Upward of fifty million years later, the sand grains fused and turned into quartzite in the heat and the crush of new rising mountains, or possibly a hundred million years after that, in the heat and the crush of more mountains. The Delaware River at that time was not even a cloud in the sky. Rivers of greater size were flowing the other way, crossing at wild angles the present route of the Delaware. Rivers go flexplek huren eindhoven wherever the country tells tl1em to, if the country is in vertical motion. The country would not be right for the Delaware for roughly a hundred million more years, and still another hundred million years would go by before the river achieved its present relationship with Kittatinny Mountain. No one knows how the river cut through.