The fascinating, awe inspiring, beer drinking world influenced by the earth's oldest science. This blog is about all things geology. Landmarks, minerals, sedimentary deposition, pretty pictures, and humor all fall into this category.
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Woolongong, NSW, Australia
From Earth Science Picture Of The Day; January 21, 2014:
Photographer: Renata Hari; Summary Authors: Renata Hari; Jim Foster
Aletsch Glacier, shown above carving through the Bernese Alps of Switzerland, is nearly 14 mi (23 km) in length making it the longest glacier in the entire Alps mountain system. It’s currently in retreat as are nearly all glaciers in the Alps. The dark narrow bands within the glacial ice are medial moraines, formed when individual valley glaciers merged. These moraines extend many miles downstream. The wavy features at bottom are possibly ogives — spacing between the wave crests related to the ice flow over a given season. To give scale to the immensity of this glacier note the hikers at bottom center. Photo taken in late summer of 2013.
Ambrym is a large basaltic volcano with a 12-km-wide caldera. It is not only one of the most active volcanoes of Vanuatu, but also in the world. Ambrym’s caldera is a wide, impressive moon-like landscape containing an ash plain, cut by innumerable erosion gullies and containing several active craters and recent lava flows.
The caldera is believed to have formed during a major plinian eruption with dacitic pyroclastic flows about 1900 years ago. Activity after the caldera formation was concentrated around two vents that have become large complex craters called Marum and Benbow. Often, both Marum and Benbow (as well as other craters) contain small lava lakes, which occasionally erupt lava flows onto the caldera floor, or even exit the caldera through erosion gaps.
To capture close-up footage of this lava lake on the Pacific island of Vanuatu, Geoff Mackley and his colleagues had to brave excruciating heat and some rather precarious-looking abseiling.
You can see more incredible shots at Mackley’s website.
Credit: Geoff Mackley, Bradley Ambrose, Nathan Berg
Huge rare blue diamond discovered in Africa
ITV News: An acorn-sized blue diamond, one of the rarest and most coveted gemstones in the world, has been unearthed in South Africa at a mine near the country’s capital Pretoria.
The 29.6 carat stone, described as exceptional, is reportedly worth tens of millions of dollars.
Photo: Blue diamond recovered at South Africa’s Cullinan mine (Petra diamonds)