Saturday, January 18, 2014

Geo 730: Jan. 18, Day 383: Serpentine and ?

A couple of hand samples from the Patrick Creek site. On the lower right is some nice sheared serpentine (Coating less sheared, serpentinized ultramafic rock, though that's not apparent from the photo alone). On the upper left, a rock that I was quite uncertain about- it was from a loose block on the creek bank, and may have been transported there to armor that bank. It's much finer-grained than I expect the unaltered harzburgite to look. The scribble below the "?" says "Pat Ck," for Patrick Creek, and illustrates why I nearly always have a black Sharpie in my pocket. A couple little flakes of serpentine can be seen to the right of the piece I collected, mashed into the road surface.

Photo unmodified. May 8, 2013. FlashEarth Location. Indexed

Friday, January 17, 2014

Geo 730: Jan. 17, Day 382: Ascending the Slope

As you can see, most of the cliff face is lined with a talus pile, from debris falling from the slick, crumbly serpentinite face. I'm always a little nervous about getting up close and personal with this sort of outcrop, though less so in dry weather. However, those piles at the base are an explicit warning that one should be alert to what's over your head. For me, it's less about keeping a sharp eye out- I'm often caught up in looking for nice seams of serpentine- but paying close attention to what I'm hearing.

From this distance, the outcrop looks quite chaotic. The fact is, up close, it seems even more so. There is, however, a distinct fabric to the rocks; the shearing seems to more or less parallel the road.

Photo unmodified. May 8, 2013. FlashEarth Location. Indexed

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I Have Issues, And The GOP Was Kind Enough to Ask

So today another meme of sorts went viral on the Twitter engine. Here's the Tweet that started it all:
You know Americans aren't afraid to speak up, right? And speak up we did! Following are the tweets from my stream alone, and they've been coming in here at hundreds per hour- it's impossible to keep up! (unattributed are mine; others' are preceded by (RT @User).
  • Someone, somewhere, may be having fun in a manner of which I disapprove. RT : Tell us your top issues
  • Nasty, filthy, horrible tacksesses. RT : Tell us your top issues
  • Over-regulation of drinking water quality in West Virginia RT : Tell us your top issues
  • Florida looks too much like the nasty part of male anatomy. RT : Tell us your top issues
  • RT Yes, that's what it looks like. A Cane Toad and a Mango. Getting it on. : Tell us your top issues
  • Grotesque Child Born With Only 99% Normal Human DNA : Tell us your top issues.
  • (RT ) MT : Tell us your top issues // I worry that the House of Representatives has been way too productive this session.
  • I'm tired of the failure of the educational system to bring up misinformed, ignorant, self-satisfied dolts. : Tell us your top issues
  • I'm out of toilet paper, but I live in a blue state, so I can't just declare emergency, have feds bail me out. : Tell us your top issues
  • They canceled Firefly and The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the socialist bastards! : Tell us your top issues
  • Dang scientists *still* sciencing. We need to put an end to that. : Tell us your top issues
  • Drugs. You guys are obviously off yours. : Tell us your top issues
  • (RT ) If WoC stands for "Women of Color", does GoP stand for "Gentlemen of Privilege"? RT " Tell us your top issues"
  • RT ) MT Tell us your top issues // Being led by an orange person is not evidence of "diversity."
  • (RT ) MT : Tell us your top issues // Mascot should be changed from elephant to masturbating capuchin monkey
  • (RT ) RT : I just saw a black kid with skittles and no one stood his ground RT Tell us your top issues
  • (RT ) We need to stop infringement on our 2nd Amendment right to shoot random sumbishes MT Tell us your top issues. Let’s win big in 2014.
  • What the what?! MT : Don't look at this pic. You'll have questions: Tell us your top issues.
  • Did a search for " Tell us your top issues." It's impossible for me to keep up. Apparently, a LOT of people have important issues.
  • Really love the way y'all celebrate the miracle of pregnancy, then slut-shame mother after delivery. Fun stuff! Tell us your top issues
  • Why do we park in driveway, drive on the parkway? Suspicious it's creeping communism & will lead to inflation. Tell us your top issues
  • Blue states get too much of their Fed tax dollars back. Should ALL go to red states as reward for small gov't. Tell us your top issues
  • Why can't conservatives be funny? Intentionally, I mean? Tell us your top issues
  • My apartment landlord doesn't allow horses or cattle, but I want to be a cowboy, just like Kid Rock. : Tell us your top issues
  • Why don't you ever try to regulate my testicles? I've been abusing the hell out of them, & need to be stopped. : Tell us your top issues
  • Limbaugh, Trump and Gingrich need more wives. : Tell us your top issues
  • I don't think Justin Beiber gets enough attention or credit. : Tell us your top issues
  • I'm not going to be able to finish my RSS reading today because GOP wants to know my top issues. : Tell us your top issues
  • (RT ) Jar Jar Binks RT Tell us your top issues.
  • How do the Koch brothers ACTUALLY pronounce their last name? Been bugging me for years. : Tell us your top issues
  • (RT ) I'm still pissed when I think about the Red Wedding. RT : Tell us your top issues. Let’s win big in 2014.
  • I see black people. They're everywhere. They don't even know they're not real people. Fix that. : Tell us your top issues
  • Wow! I really hope GOP takes quick action on all these suggestions! : Tell us your top issues
  • I think I'm turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so. : Tell us your top issues
  • What was going on in the last couple seasons of X Files? I was really confused. : Tell us your top issues
  • People keep trying to peg me as a cat OR dog person. How can I get folks to accept that I was born bi-animal? : Tell us your top issues
  • Can you pass a law to get me to leave this danged meme alone? : Tell us your top issues
So there you have it. I'm quite confident this request for the opinions of real Americans will produce useful changes and results from the GOP.

Update: Here are a few more that I posted or RT'd after that last one.
  • RT  I need more old white men to climb inside my vagina. I didn't name it Clown Car for nothing. RT Tell us your top issues.
  • RT Kristen Stewart to Star in Romantic Adaptation of “1984” — what? stop. no. stop. : Tell us your top issues.
  • "How to talk to your cat about gun safety" pamphlet needs to be distributed widely: : Tell us your top issues.
  • Remember back in the Ediacaran, how free we all were? THOSE were the days... : Tell us your top issues.
  • RT I have a severe case of hemorrhoids RT Tell us your top issues
  • I think that's more of a bottom issue. : Tell us your top issues.
  • RT Why do we park in a driveway, but drive on crumbling roads due to GOP refusal to upgrade infrastructure? RT Tell us your top issues.
  • RT Time Magazine, April 8, 1966, National Lampoon, January 1973, Playboy, October 1971, Nintendo Power, all of 92 : Tell us your top issues

    Geo 730: Jan. 16, Day 381: Patrick Creek Serpentinite

    The rock here was first described to me as "tectonized harzburgite," which at the time was utterly opaque. My understanding of the classification of ultramafic rocks, other than dunite, is still pretty muddy, but I grasped pretty quickly that "tectonized" is simply an adjective meaning that the rock has been sheared and crushed beyond recognition. So the fact that it was once a harzburgite is kind of beside the point; it mostly isn't anymore. Due to hydration/alteration of the Mg-rich minerals- olivine in particular- the rock as a whole can now be described as serpentinite. Finding samples in which the harzburgite is apparent is possible, but it requires purposeful effort. I have posted on this outcrop before, in a broader discussion of serpentine.

    Photo unmodified. May 8, 2013. FlashEarth Location. Indexed

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Geo 730: Jan. 15, Day 380: Grassy Flat

    "Grassy Flat," at this point, is basically mis-named; it has been cleared and driven on to the point that it's mostly bare ground, dirt and rock. But it is another good example of a fluvial terrace, much like the area upon which Gasquet was built. We're looking across the Smith River here, hidden behind the brush, to a large hillside of unconsolidated debris. I can't say with any certainty what its origin is, but I think we can narrow down potential sources. Some that spring to mind are an older, higher terrace, glacial moraine or outwash, an older, filled and abandoned river channel (these are quite apparent in other locations along this drainage, which is why this possibility occurs to me), or deposits from debris flows- essentially, an alluvial fan.

    Looking carefully, the sorting of the clasts is poor to the point of being non-existent. I see very little evidence of bedding, with the exception of an orangy band that starts just below the tree line near the middle, and dips off to the right. The lack of sorting and bedding seems to weigh against a fluvial origin, so I'll withdraw the terrace and channel options, as well as the outwash conjecture. We're much too low in elevation for glaciers to have reached this spot, so I don't think a moraine is a viable guess, either. (Backing out in the FlashEarth view supports this: the drainages are clearly "V-shaped.") That leaves debris flow deposits/alluvial fan as the remaining option. As I said, I can't be certain, but given the situation and topography, that seems to be the best conjecture: an alluvial fan that's been carved out by subsequent meandering and erosion by the Smith River.

    Photo unmodified. May 8, 2013. FlashEarth Location. Indexed

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    Geo 730: Jan. 14, Day 379: Smith River NRA Visitor Center

    The Smith River National Recreation Area stretches along the river from Jedediah Smith Redwoods NP, nearly to the OR-CA border, and there's a nice little visitor center in Gasquet. There are a number of taxidermy birds and mammals, and interpretive displays on the geology, biology, climate and ecology of the region. The thing that most impressed me was the knowledge of the staff- or more accurately, their ability to put their hands on this or that pamphlet with details they didn't carry around in their heads. The center is no big deal, but it was a fun, quick stop. And I was pleased that they highlighted the unusual geology of the area.

    Even if you choose to skip this stop, a feature to notice as you drive through town is the well-developed river terrace upon which the town is built. This is a nice, flat, well-drained surface for construction, and the Smith River has incised down into it far enough that I can't imagine flooding is ever an issue. I would guess the development of this particular terrace dates to the Pleistocene. Flying over the region to the Bay area, the higher peaks show lots of evidence of glaciation, which would have resulted in sedimentation in the lower reaches of stream valleys.

    Photo by Dana Hunter, unmodified. May 8, 2013. FlashEarth Location uncertain, but well-signed. Indexed

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    Geo 730: Jan. 13, Day 378: MAPMB Benchmark

    The thing that caught my attention with this benchmark, on the southwest abutment of the Mary Adams Peacock Memorial Bridge, was the "Reset 1984" note. During the visit, I was puzzled, but my guess was that it had been re-surveyed to check for any tectonic offset- vertical or horizontal, who knows? Turns out, the bridge was "remodeled in 1985," and this benchmark's "reset" is probably associated with that construction.

    Photo unmodified. May 8, 2013. FlashEarth Location. Indexed

    Sunday, January 12, 2014

    Geo 730: Jan. 12, Day 377: Mary Adams Peacock Memorial Bridge

    This was another random stop, at the bridge just west of Gasquet (GAS-key), California. A nice little pull-out with a bathroom, but unfortunately, it didn't look like there were any good bedrock exposures. We didn't clamber down to the river. This was, at the time it was built (1932), the only bridge in California named after a woman. Some other biographical notes on this woman can be found here, in the middle of the article.

    Incidentally, I've forgotten to explicitly remark on this up to now, but remember how I kept complaining about how the coast was so windy, cloudy and cold? We're pretty well out of the redwood zone here (they end at about Hiouchi), though still on the edge of coastal climatic influence, but the rest of this day was gloriously sunny and warm. It was a much appreciated change. If you glance over the climatic data for Gasquet at the first link, you can see that average temperatures are moderate year-round, with fairly small differences between average highs and average lows each month. This tells you that the climate here still has a very strong marine influence, but it becomes markedly less as you drive inland.

    The sheeted dike component of the Josephine Ophiolite is pretty much restricted to the segment of the river between this bridge and downstream to the bridge just above the confluence of the north and south forks.

    Photo unmodified. May 8, 2013. FlashEarth Location. Indexed

    Sunday Funnies: Battle Armor Edition

    Etsy- yes, it's for sale, but not cheap. (And the site says they will make such armor for any pet.)
    Funny to Me
    The Far Left Side
    Are You Talking to Meme
    Bad Newspaper
    Drawing a Blank
    Derpy Cats
    Texts from TNG
    Dork Tower
    "Proof that Reagan's 'trickle-down theory' works" What Would Jack Do?
    "Training to fight the cat" Senor Gif
    Happy Jar
    Very Demotivational
    Senor Gif
    Bits and Pieces
    Sober in a Nightclub
    Tastefully Offensive "This plate is the only thing which is allowed to tell me how to live my life..."
    Tastefully Offensive
    Are You Talking to Meme? (Answer at the end of this post)
    Surreal is funny too. What Would Jack Do?
    Senor Gif

    Can you walk on water? Mach (I suggest turning down the sound.)
    Little Harley Things
    Are You Talking to Meme?
    From all over the place, first seen at Balloon Juice.
    Texts From TNG
    Senor Gif
    Bits and Pieces
    Tastefully Offensive
    Clay Bennett
    Surviving the World
    Bad Newspaper
    Mr. Lovenstein
    Are You Talking to Meme?
    Are You Talking to Meme?
    Bits and Pieces
    Bits and Pieces
    Funny to Me

    (Answer to rebus: "It bears repeating...")