Monday, August 25, 2008

Wilderness, wilderness....

What is wilderness? I chose the title for this blog entry because I am still reading Desert Solitare by Edward Abbey.

I'm trying to find a job in geology in the state of California now. Hopefully I will have luck soon and other will too!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A quick excursion in the Coast Range

What geologic process formed the rocks in the picture?

Well, if you answered turbidites, you would be right. So why do I mention turbidites?

On Friday, my friend and I decided that we wanted to go on a road trip. We decided on a trip to the northern Coast Range through the Capay Valley, where some turbidites can be found. Then we went west to Clear Lake and Ukiah, where we ate lunch at a cute Mexican restaurant in downtown. The food was great and reasonably priced. It was afternoon by the time my son finished his lunch; he was having too much fun smushing french fries. Maybe he was just working on how an accretionary wedge forms during subduction. We realized we were a far way from Sacramento, so we headed south to Highway 128. It was a very beautiful drive through Calistoga, St Helena, etc. Of course, we talked about geology, as we passed fairly close to "The Geysers", where lots of small earthquakes occur and geothermal activity is present. We also passed Lake Berryessa, which both of us had stopped at for field camp. We never hit any traffic until we got to Davis, all those bay area people trying to escape the city. To end our marathon drive, we went shopping at the IKEA in West Sacramento. In 11 hours I drove something like 400 miles and did exactly what I wanted to. I had a great time with my son and friend.

A typical outcrop picture for the Coast Ranges. The Great Valley Group is just not stable!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Arch Collapse

I noticed on my yahoo homepage that an arch had collapsed at Arches National Park sometime during the night of August 4. My curiosity wondered which arch it was, considering I was there over a month ago and had a wonderful time.

Well, it was Wall Arch located on the Devils Garden Trail. When I hiked this trail, I stopped at Landscape Arch since we had limited time, so I did not ever get the chance to see this arch. I can be saddened by this, but as geologist I know some other beautiful arch is forming in the park right now.

I very much appreciate the time I was at Arches and I am experiencing it all over again reading Desert Solitaire. It was a place I had always wanted to go and I was awe stuck by the beauty of the arches. Only to be Edward Abbey back then and have the entire park to yourself and free to roam anywhere. I can not wait for the moment that I can take my son to a place like Arches and the rest of the Southwest, which I hope is much sooner in his life than later.

If you want more info on the arch collapse, here is the link to the NPS website for Arches.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quick update on thesis work

Here is a sample of what I have been working on for my research. I have 6 domes to complete the Crystal Size Distribution (CSD) on and I am only on the third dome. I have 18 different pictures to finish for dome C and I have been working on those for 3 months now and really have finished most within the last week. Like I said in previous posts, lots going on this summer except for working on my thesis. Lucky for me, my thesis advisor is giving me a break because she also has been busy this summer and knows how crazy my life is right now. I was planning to focus heavily on field work this summer and spend weeks up in Lassen Volcanic NP, but so far I have not been once. I hope to change that soon, I might go up in a week or two with a friend for a few days.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I love mud!

I know this is not what you were thinking when I said I love mud. Growing up, I was the type of girl, who liked dirt bikes, go carts, Monster Trucks, Winston Cup, etc. Hence, I am a geologist now. My dad used to have a '72 half ton long bed Ford that I secretly wanted to fix up with paint and rims, but that was when I was 16 or so, now I couldn't even imagine how much gas it would take to fill the two tanks it had. I will take a small car any day!

I remember watching mudbogs when I was 8 years old on TV, but I had never been to one, until Sunday night, the last day of the local fair. I was excited! If you know me, I actually like things dirty, like I never wash my car. I just think it is a waste of water. Here comes the geological part, when I was in Death Valley in February 2007, it had rained a 1/2 inch the night before and the next morning we were going to visit Mosaic Canyon. I had never seen muddy water running though the canyon, most of the people in the group didn't want to get wet, but me in my shorts and gore-tex boots, just stomped through the water. It was a blast, so see why I like mud!

Friday, August 1, 2008

DInosaurs attack the Stanislaus County Fair

The most surprising thing at the fair was the dinosaur exhibit in the children's area. Of course, I thought it was a little cheezy but hey I am geologist who has gone dinosaur bone hunting in the Morrison Formation. The organizers had a big tent filled with full size dinosaur models that included names and locations where the dinosaurs were found. The kids in the tent where going crazy over the dinosaurs, I hope there were some future paleontologists in the group. I am glad that I got the chance to witness children having fun and getting educated at the same time about geology. Of course, I have to admit about my own child. He was crying the whole time in the tent, because he wanted to ride the Dumbo ride outside. All I did was shake my head, let my dad push him and kept walking........