11 February, 2010

How You Know You're a Geologist at Heart

When you're watching a movie, and during one of those beautiful scene-setting shots with the house perched on the sea cliffs, you catch your breath and whisper, "Ye gods, look at that tilted strata!  I could live there just for that!"  And then you drool over the way erosion has exposed the bedding planes.

Any geologist who's seen The Shipping News probably knows precisely which shot I'm talking about.


Wayne Ranney said...

Dana - You're a person after my own heart. I love that too. Even that rag of a movie, "Australia" was pure enjoyment for me seeing the TILTED STRATA. There's just somethin' about it!

Karen said...

No, you know you're a geologist when you see the house perched on the cliff and say "Oh, shit. That's gonna come down soon!"

But beaches with cliffs ARE wonderful places to see strata. Go to them. Look carefully. Sometimes you can see cross-bedding (usually old sand-dune beds). Sometimes you can see half-moon sections where the grains seem to get finer as you go upward (old stream channels). Best of all, sometimes you see strata where the beds run from being like sand to being like finest mud... and repeat the process all over again and again. These are often turbidites, a kind of underwater debris flow. All sorts of wonderful things to see in beaches.