Sunday, August 28, 2011

Accretionary Wedge #37: Sexy Geology

Accretionary Wedge #37: Sexy Geology

This month's topic engaged the geoblogosphere's lascivious side, and boy, oh boy did you folks turn out for this late-summer shindig and swinger's party! As always when I host, it's a real pleasure to read through the posts when I first see them, then frustrating as I try to decide how to organize and present them in a way readers will enjoy as much as I did. Of course, when I asked myself what aspects of the earth geologists found sexy, the answer was obvious. What geologists think is sexy is exactly the same sorts of things everyone does: Lines and Forms, Bones and Structures, Tones and Colors, Vivaciousness, and Chemistry.

Lines and Forms
The first thing that often catches our attention when recognizing a natural beauty is a certain perfection of line and form.

Tannis, who likes rocks, finds herself particularly flustered in the face of ripples. "There's just something about being up on a ridge, far away from any water and even farther away from a beach, and seeing ripples."
Silver Fox swoons over the luscious curves of cross bedding in the Navajo Sandstone. She's not the only one: I've seen quite a few posts on this sexy sand over the last few weeks.
Fellow traveler Dana Hunter's post wasn't easy to pigeon-hole: she ran the gamut in Earth Erotica. "My non-geo friends don't get dry mouths and pounding hearts when passing road cuts. Sometimes, I think they're blind to beauty. Unclothed rocks are some of the most beautiful sights on earth."
Dave Bressan breaks into a sweat thinking about beaches past and present, and reminds us of the great truth that geologists are the coolest and sexiest men (and women) alive.
And for our final entrant in this category, Anne Jefferson at Highly Allochthonous shows off some seductive pahoehoe curves during a visit to the Galapagos Island earlier this summer. She also shares some sexy sand, and ends with a provocative shot of an utterly nude sunbather.
Bones and Structures
Underlying line and form, though, is structural perfection. Largely hidden from the untrained eye, practice allows us to see clues and hints to understanding the underlying bones.

Matt at Research at a Snail's Pace first shows us the beauty of Glacier National Park, then uses a pair of sketches to get a sense of the subsurface structures responsible for it.
Ian Stimpson of Hypo-theses was the first to respond to the call for posts, but apparently misunderstood the topic. He thought I was demanding, like a drunken reveler, "Show us your cleavage!"
Count on Jessica Ball of Magma Cum Laude to get us all hot and bothered with shots of a recent fissure eruption in Hawaii. No comment on what resemblance I first saw in the picture below.
Anne of Anne's Musings on Geology and Other Things gets bent out of shape by Big Bend National Park: "To me this place seems to have it all, and that is why I muse upon Big Bend being such a geologically sexy place to visit" .

And our concluding post in this category, from first-time AW participant Un Geologo En Apuros, reminds me I need to carry a spatula with me sometimes, to scrape my eyeballs off the inside of my glasses. I'm not going to copy either photo here; you really need to go see them yourselves, and you most definitely want to click them for glorious full-size. To the author: don't worry about your poor English; my Spanish is much worse, and this is sexy geology that transcends any language barriers.

Tones and Colors
For many, including myself, line, form and structure are all very nice, but what really rivets our attention is the perfect tone, a lovely exotic glow, and a mesmerizing play of color.

Darius Whiteplume is a friendly innertubz denizen I've been following for a while on various blogs and tumblrs, and more recently on Twitter. He sent this to me via the latter yesterday, and I thought it appropriate to "mistake" it for an AW submission.
Selim sends word of the lovely White Desert in his home country of Egypt. It has to be tough in that country right now, but knowing there are sites (and sights) like this gives me hope they can work through their troubles.
Ron Schott posts a magnificent mineralogical mystery: it ain't lithium, it's manganese! (Oh yes, and a groaner of a pun, which, as he says, works better if you read it aloud. Just not too loud.)
My own entry is the beautiful warm glow of the Pinnacles at Crater Lake National Park. As an aside, I had intended as I started that post to get at some of the science of that spot. However, as I surveyed the debris from the landslide of innuendo and double-entendre in that post, I decided to let the science stand at a dignified distance. I'll get back to it later.
When humans convey a sense of brimming with life, we call them vivacious. When rocks convey a sense of being full of life, we call them fossiliferous. In either case, though, it's very, very sexy.

Geosciblog focuses on Echinodermata erotica, and fossil fetishists (one of which he claims he isn't) around the world are paralyzed.
Matt at Geosphere gets needled by Cnidaria... the corals, in particular.
And Callan at Mountain Beltway suggested I just link the post I used as an outstanding exemplar of Sexy Geology in the original call for posts: fossils and structures in the vicinity of Swift Dam.

In the end though, each person's answer to the question "What is Sexy?" is going to involve countless imponderables, a lot of je ne c'est pas, and shoulder-shrugging responses, "I dunno. I just do." In other words, the stuff we call chemistry.

Geotripper has some seriously weird rocks that likely are not unique, but I've never heard of or seen their like before.Another first-time participant, Narnian Rockhound at Earth-Like Planet, posts on a world-class mineral area, the Bancroft district in Ontario, Canada. Having visited a number of sites in the area myself, I whole-heartedly concur with this sexy nomination.
So there you have it: The geoblogosphere's nominations for sexy geology. It occurs to me that this should have been Wedge number 34. If you're not familiar with the pop-culture rule 34, it is this: "If it exists, there is porn of it." While none of the above constitutes "porn," really, there's no doubt plenty of fodder for some very sweet dreams. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and thanks to all who particpated. If I've somehow managed to miss your submission, leave a comment and link. I'm also happy to add in late submissions, so if you've been meaning to get to this but haven't, you still have a little time.

Next month's AW will be hosted by Anne Jefferson, on the theme "Back to School." See you then!


Garry Hayes said...

Excellent post! It left me sweating just a little. Thank you for hosting this month!

CWCarrigan said...

That's hot! Great job bringing it all together. Thanks for welcoming a newcomer to the mix.