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.
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.”
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.
The Epsteins had The Epsteins had no knowledge of these signs and would not have known what to make of them if they had. They were unaware then that Chinese geologists routinely watch wildlife for intimations of earthquakes. They were also unaware that David Love, of the Survey’s office in Laramie, had published an abstract only weeks before called “Quaternary Faulting in and near Yellowstone Park,” in which he expressed disagreement with the conventional wisdom that seismic activity on a grand scale was a thing of the past in that region. He said he thought a major shock was not unlikely. Anita was shuffling cards, 11:37 P.M., when the lantern above her began to swing, crockery fell from cabinets, and water leaped out of a basin. Jack tried to catch the swinging lantern and “it beaned him on the head.” The floor of the trailer was moving in a way that reminded her of the Fun House at Coney Island. They ran outside. “Trees were toppling over. The solid earth was like a glop of jelly,” she would recall later. In the moonlight, she saw soil moving like ocean waves, and for all her professed terror she was flexplek huren amsterdam collected enough to notice that the waves were not propagating well and were cracking at their crests. She remembers something like thirty seconds of “tremendous explosive noise,” an “amplified tornado.” She was close to the epicenter of a shock that was felt three hundred and fifty miles away and markedly affected water wells in Hawaii and Alaska. East and west from where she stood ran an eighteen-mile rip in the surface of the earth. The fault ran straight through Culligan’s ranch house, and had split its levels, raising the back twelve feet. The tornado sound had been made by eighty million tons of Precambrian mountainside, whose flexplek huren eindhoven planes of schistosity had happened to be inclined toward the Madison River, with the result that half the mountain came falling down in one of the largest rapid landslides produced by an earthquake in North America in historical time. People were camped under it and near it. Among the dead were some who died of the air blast, after flapping like flags as they clung to trees. Automobiles rolled overland like tumbleweed. They were inundated as the river pooled up against the rockslide, and they are still at the bottom of Earthquake Lake, as it is called-a hundred and eighty feet deep. of these signs and would not have known what to make of them if they had. They were unaware then that Chinese geologists routinely watch wildlife for intimations of earthquakes. They were also unaware that David Love, of the Survey’s office in Laramie, had published an abstract only weeks before called “Quaternary Faulting in and near Yellowstone Park,” in which he expressed disagreement with the conventional wisdom that seismic activity on a grand scale was a thing of the past in that region. He said he thought a major shock
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ANNALS OF THE FORMER WORLD
was not unlikely. Anita was shuffling cards, 11:37 P.M., when the lantern above her began to swing, crockery fell from cabinets, and water leaped out of a basin. Jack tried to catch the swinging lantern and “it beaned him on the head.” The floor of the trailer was moving in a way that reminded her of the Fun House at Coney Island. They ran outside. “Trees were toppling over. The solid earth was like a glop of jelly,” she would recall later. In the moonlight, she saw soil moving like ocean waves, and for all her professed terror she was collected enough to notice that the waves were not propagating well and were cracking at their crests. She remembers something like thirty seconds of “tremendous explosive noise,” an “amplified tornado.” She was close to the epicenter of a shock that was felt three hundred and fifty miles away and markedly affected water wells in Hawaii and Alaska. East and west from where she stood ran an eighteen-mile rip in the surface of the earth. The fault ran straight through Culligan’s ranch house, and had split its levels, raising the back twelve feet. The tornado sound had been made by eighty million tons of Precambrian mountainside, whose planes of schistosity had happened to be inclined toward the Madison River, with the result that half the mountain came falling down in one of the largest rapid landslides produced by an earthquake in North America in historical time. People were camped under it and near it. Among the dead were some who died of the air blast, after flapping like flags as they clung to trees. Automobiles rolled overland like tumbleweed. They were inundated as the river pooled up against the rockslide, and they are still at the bottom of Earthquake Lake, as it is called-a hundred and eighty feet deep.
“Everybody’s entitled to an opinion. Everybody’s entitled to ask a question. If I didn’t think your question was valid, I wouldn’t have to answer you. I’d hope the fishing was good. I wouldn’t mind having some beach-front property. If it was absolutely certified that it was going to happen, we should take steps to keep people out of the area. But as chief of police I’m not going to be alarmed.” “It’ll be a change to have water here instead of desert. By God, we could use it. I say that as fire chief. We get seventy fire calls a year, which ain’t much, but flexplek huren amsterdam then we have to go a hundred miles to put out those damned ranch fires. We can’t save much, but we can at least put out the heat. I got a ten-thousand-gallon tank there, which is really something for a place with no water. I guess I won’t still be here to see the ocean come, and I’m glad of it, because I can’t swim.” Meanwhile, Deffeyes, in Sturgeon’s Log Cabin, applies the last refining strokes to his sketchings on the map. “The Salton Sea and Death Valley are below sea level now, and the ocean would be there if it were not for pieces of this and that between,” he says. “We are extending the continental crust here. It is exactly analogous flexplek huren eindhoven to the East African Rift, the Red Sea, the Atlantic. California will be an island. It is just a matter of time.”
In an address to the German Geological Association in 1912, and three years later in his essay Die Enstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane, Wegener based his concept not only on the jigsaw fit of Africa and the Americas but also on the likeness of certain rocks on the two sides of the ocean, and on comparisons of living and fossil creatures. He knew nothing of paleomagnetism, which was in its infancy and was many years away from yielding insight to the problem, but he was the promulgator of the hypothesis of continental drift. Unfortunately, he attempted to explain how the continents moved. He zakelijke energie envisioned tl1em plowing like icebreakers through solid basalt. Almost no one believed his hypothesis, any more than Benjamin Franklin had been believed when, in 1782, possibly after a visit to Edinburgh, he said he thought that the surface parts of the earth were floating about on a liquid interior. Wegener had received fame as a record-setting balloonist, an Arctic explorer, and now he was making an assertion for which his name would live in mockery for ahout fifty years. In life and in death, he was a target of scorn. His idea provoked gibes, jeers, sneers, derision, raillery, burlesque, mockery, irony, satire, and sarcasm, but it could not be ignored. In i928, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists published a symposium on zakelijke energie vergelijken continental drift. It included a paper called “Some of the Objections to Wegener’s Theory,” by Rollin T. Chamberlin, of the University of Chicago, who expressed what was then the prevailing attitude among geologists and would continue to be until the nineteenseventies, after which it would cease to prevail but not to survive:
Wegener’s hypothesis in general is of the foot-loose type, in that it takes considerable liberty with our globe, and is less bound by restrictions or tied down by awkward, ugly facts than most of its rival theories. Its appeal seems to lie in the fact that it plays a game in which there are few restrictive rules and no sharply drawn code of conduct. So a lot of things go easily. But taking the situation as it now is, we must either modify radically most of the present rules of the geological game or else pass the hypothesis by.
The result was yet another set of new mountainsalpine mountains which erosion brought down before the end of the Jurassic, but not enough to obliterate the story that is told in Carlin Canyon. Still gazing at the Carlin unconformity, Ken Deffeyes said, “Profound as all the time is to build and destroy those mountain ranges, it is just a one-acter in the history of the Basin and Range -small potatoes, weak beer, just a little piece of time, a little piece of the action, lost in all the welter of all the other history.” There had been two complete cycles of erosion and deposition and mountain building in this one place in one-fortieth of the time scale. That is what made John Playfair’s mind zakelijke energie grow giddy when James Hutton took him in i 788 to see the angular unconformity at Siccar Point. It was especially fortunate that Playfair was there, and that Playfair knew Hutton and Hutton’s geology equally well, for when Hutton finally wrote his book most readers were trampled by the prose. Hutton was at best a difficult writer. Insights came to him but phrases did not. James Hall, who was twenty-seven when he went with Hutton and Playfair to Siccar Point, would say of Hutton years later, “I must own that on reading Dr. Hutton’s first geological publication I was induced to reject his system entirely, and should probably have continued still to do so, with the great majority of the world, but for my habits of intimacy with the author, the vivacity and perspicuity of whose conversation formed a striking contrast to the obscurity of his writings.” Hall, incidentally, melted zakelijke energie vergelijken rock in crucibles and saw how crystals formed as it cooled. He is regarded as the founder of experimental geology. John Playfair likewise assessed Hutton’s literary style as containing “a degree of obscurity astonishing to those who knew him, and who heard him every day converse with no less clearness and precision than animation and force.”
He increased his comfo1t when he invested in a company that made sal ammoniac from collected soot of the city. He performed experiments-in chemistry, mainly. He extracted table salt from a zeolite. But for the most part-over something like fifteen years-he concentrated his daily study on the building of his theory. Growing barley on his farm in Be1wickshire, he had perceived slow destruction watching streams carry soil to the sea. It occurred to him that if streams were to do that through enough time, there would be no land on which to farm. So there must be in the world a source of new soil. It would zakelijke energie come from above-that was to say, from high terrain-and be made by rain and frost slowly reducing mountains, which in stages would be ground down from boulders to cobbles to pebbles to sand to silt to mud by a ridge-to-ocean system of dendritic streams. Rivers would carry their burden to the sea, but along the way they would set it down, as fertile plains. The Amazon had brought off the Andes half a continent of plains. Rivers, especially in flood, again and again would pick up the load, to give it up ultimately in depths of still water. There, in layers, the mud, silt, sand, and pebbles would pile up until they reached a depth where heat and pressure could cause them to become consolidated, fused, indurated, lithified-rock. The story could hardly end there. If it did, then the surface of the earth would have long since worn smooth and be some sort of global swamp. “Old continents are wearing away,” he decided, “and new continents forming in the bottom of the sea.” There were fossil marine creatures in high places. They had not got up there in a flood. Something had lifted the rock out of the sea and folded it up as mountains. One had only to ponder volcanoes and hot springs to sense that there was a great deal of heat within the zakelijke energie vergelijken earth-much exceeding what could ever be produced by an odd seam of spontaneously burning coal-and that not only could high heat soften up rock and change it into other forms of rock, it could apparently move whole regions of the crustal package and bend them and break them and elevate them far above the sea. Granite also seemed to Hutton to be a product of great heat and in no sense a precipitate that somehow grew in water. Granite was not, in a sequential sense, primitive rock. It appeared to him to have come bursting upward in a hot fluid state to lift the country above it and to squirt itself thick and thin into preexisting formations. No one had so much as imagined this before. Basalt was no precipitate, either.
Deffeyes’ purposes in coming to Nevada are pure and noble. His considerable energies appear to be about equally [divided between the pursuit of pure science and the pursuit of noble metal. In order to enloft humanity’s understanding of the basins, he has been taking paleomagnetic samples of basin sediments. He seeks insight into the way in which the rifting earth comes apart. He wants to perceive the subtle differences in the histories of one fault block and another. His ideas about silver, on the other hand, may send his children to college. This is, after all, Nevada, whose geology bought the tickets for the Spanish-American War. George Hearst found his fortune in the zakelijke energie vergelijken ground here. There were silver ores of such concentration that certain miners did nothing more to the heavy grat rocks than pack them up and ship them to Europe. To be sure, those days and those rocks-those supergene enrichments-are gone, but it has crossed the mind of Deffeyes that there may be something left for Deffeyes. Banqueting Sybarites surely did not lick their platJs. We rented the pickup in Salt Lake City-a white Ford. “If we had a bale of hay in here, we’d be Nevada authentic,” Deffeyes remarked, and he swept snow off the truck with a broom. November. Three zakelijke energie inches on the ground and more falling, I slanting in to us from the west.
In June, every year, students and professors from eastern colleges-with their hydrochloric-acid phials and their hammers and their Brunton compasses-head west. To be sure, there is plenty of absorbing geology under the shag of eastern America, galvanic conundrums in Appalachian structure and intricate puzzles in history and stratigraphy. In no manner would one wish to mitigate the importance of the eastern scene. Undeniably, though, the West is where the rocks are-the vastnesses of exposed rock-and of zakelijke energie eastern geologists who do any kind of summer field work about seventyfive per cent go west. They carry state geological maps and the regional geological highway maps that are published by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists-maps as prodigally colored as drip paintings and equally formless in their worm-trailand-paramecium depictions of the country’s uppermost rock. The maps give two dimensions but more than suggest the third. They tell the general age and story of the banks of the asphalt stream. Kleinspehn has been doing this for some years, getting into her Minibago, old and overloaded, a two-door Ford, heavy-duty springs, with odd pieces of the Rockies under the front seat and a mountain tent in the gear behind, to cross the Triassic lowlands and the Border Fault and to rise into the Ridge and Valley Province, the foldedand-faulted, deformed Appalachians-the beginnings of a journey that zakelijke energie vergelijken above all else is physiographic, a journey that tends to mock the idea of a nation, of a political state, as an unnatural subdivision of the globe, as a metaphor of the human ego sketched on paper and framed in straight lines and in riparian boundaries between unalterable coasts. The United States: really a quartering of a continent, a drawer in North America. Pull it out and prairie dogs would spill off one side, alligators off the other-a terrain crisscrossed with geological boundaries, mammalian boundaries, amphibian boundaries: the limits of the world of the river frog, the extent of the Nugget formation, the range of the mountain cougar. The range of the cougar is the cougar’s natural state, overlying segments of tens of thousands of other states, a few of them proclaimed a nation. The United States of America, with its capital city on the Atlantic Coastal Plain.