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TALLEST WATERFALL IN THE WORLDEver wonder what the tallest waterfall in the world was? You could just Google it, but we all know how that takes so much effort. Well search no further for now you have an answer! Angel Falls also called Kerepakupai merú is located in Canaima National Park, Venezuela and is fed by the Gauja River. This waterfall was discovered (officially by western civilization) by Ernesto de Santa Cruz in 1910. The waterfall stretches a giant 979 meters tall with a complete uninterrupted drop of 807 meters. In the native language, Kerepakupai merú means “fall from the deepest place.” The name ‘Angel Falls’ came from when pilot Jimmy Angel nose-dived his plane (with passengers I might add) straight into the falls in 1937. He, and all the passengers, surprisingly survived.The falls plunge off the edge of the mountain Auyan Tepui, or Devil’s Mountain. The Tepuis of this national park are iconic table-top like mountains that pop out along the plateau located south of the Orinoco river. The plateau is estimated at 2 billion years old, a significant age even among geological standards. Around 400-200 million years ago a series of climate changes started to transform the landscape. Some of these changes were instigated by strong humidity changes, increased precipitation (both in amount and length,) droughts, freezing, hurricanes, and tectonic movement of the earth. The erosion due to the atmospheric changes removed some of the less resistant material leaving the harder more resilient Tepuis throughout the landscape.-Claire More info about Angel Falls: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Angel_FallsPhoto credit: Wiki user ‘Yosemite’

TALLEST WATERFALL IN THE WORLD

Ever wonder what the tallest waterfall in the world was? You could just Google it, but we all know how that takes so much effort. Well search no further for now you have an answer! Angel Falls also called Kerepakupai merú is located in Canaima National Park, Venezuela and is fed by the Gauja River. This waterfall was discovered (officially by western civilization) by Ernesto de Santa Cruz in 1910. The waterfall stretches a giant 979 meters tall with a complete uninterrupted drop of 807 meters. In the native language, Kerepakupai merú means “fall from the deepest place.” The name ‘Angel Falls’ came from when pilot Jimmy Angel nose-dived his plane (with passengers I might add) straight into the falls in 1937. He, and all the passengers, surprisingly survived.

The falls plunge off the edge of the mountain Auyan Tepui, or Devil’s Mountain. The Tepuis of this national park are iconic table-top like mountains that pop out along the plateau located south of the Orinoco river. The plateau is estimated at 2 billion years old, a significant age even among geological standards. Around 400-200 million years ago a series of climate changes started to transform the landscape. Some of these changes were instigated by strong humidity changes, increased precipitation (both in amount and length,) droughts, freezing, hurricanes, and tectonic movement of the earth. The erosion due to the atmospheric changes removed some of the less resistant material leaving the harder more resilient Tepuis throughout the landscape.


-Claire 

More info about Angel Falls: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Angel_Falls
Photo credit: Wiki user ‘Yosemite’

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Guano GwalesThe white patch on the island of Grassholm (Welsh: Ynys Gwales or Gwales) is not snow, limestone, or any type of rock for that matter. In springtime, half the island is covered in gannets and their associated guano (also known as bird shit). About 12% (equivalent to 40,000 birds) of the world’s population of gannets live on Gwales; the other 78% can be found nearby on the islands of St. Kilda and Bass Rock off the coast of Scotland. A big problem for these birds nowadays are floating islands of plastic. Instead of seaweed, the gannets now use fishing nets and all sorts of plastic rubbish for nesting. Around 65 birds die annually from plastic entanglement. Like the islands of Skomer and Skokholm, Gwales is of volcanic origin. Basalt dominates, with sporadic occurrences of felsite, mugearite, and rhyolite dating from the Silurian (around 440 million years ago). The sediments and rocks on these small islands can be related to mainland Wales. It is believed that at least Skomer got loose from the mainland during the last Ice Age.Gwales is mentioned in the Mabinogion, a collection of medieval Welsh manuscripts drawing back from Celtic and Iron Age mythology. In one of the stories the severed head of Bran the Blessed is brought to the magnificent castle that stand high above the ocean on Gwales. Bran’s head is kept alive for a mere 8 years, while his seven companions feast non-stop in the great hall of the castle. In 1972 archaeological research revealed field boundaries and a small settlement with round houses and rectangular buildings in the middle of the island. Interestingly the blanket of gannet guano had killed the grass which in turn revealed the archaeological remains. The remains are believed to date from the Middle Ages and thus could represent the mythological feasting hall.-OW-Image: Courtesy of S. Murray. Aerial photo of Grassholm. References and further reading:http://bit.ly/UwOSvYhttp://bbc.in/1q8XJxHhttp://bit.ly/UwM4yHhttp://bit.ly/1qGV8Qwhttp://bit.ly/1qGVaI5

Guano Gwales

The white patch on the island of Grassholm (Welsh: Ynys Gwales or Gwales) is not snow, limestone, or any type of rock for that matter. In springtime, half the island is covered in gannets and their associated guano (also known as bird shit). About 12% (equivalent to 40,000 birds) of the world’s population of gannets live on Gwales; the other 78% can be found nearby on the islands of St. Kilda and Bass Rock off the coast of Scotland. A big problem for these birds nowadays are floating islands of plastic. Instead of seaweed, the gannets now use fishing nets and all sorts of plastic rubbish for nesting. Around 65 birds die annually from plastic entanglement. 

Like the islands of Skomer and Skokholm, Gwales is of volcanic origin. Basalt dominates, with sporadic occurrences of felsite, mugearite, and rhyolite dating from the Silurian (around 440 million years ago). The sediments and rocks on these small islands can be related to mainland Wales. It is believed that at least Skomer got loose from the mainland during the last Ice Age.

Gwales is mentioned in the Mabinogion, a collection of medieval Welsh manuscripts drawing back from Celtic and Iron Age mythology. In one of the stories the severed head of Bran the Blessed is brought to the magnificent castle that stand high above the ocean on Gwales. Bran’s head is kept alive for a mere 8 years, while his seven companions feast non-stop in the great hall of the castle. In 1972 archaeological research revealed field boundaries and a small settlement with round houses and rectangular buildings in the middle of the island. Interestingly the blanket of gannet guano had killed the grass which in turn revealed the archaeological remains. The remains are believed to date from the Middle Ages and thus could represent the mythological feasting hall.

-OW-

Image: Courtesy of S. Murray. Aerial photo of Grassholm. 

References and further reading:
http://bit.ly/UwOSvY
http://bbc.in/1q8XJxH
http://bit.ly/UwM4yH
http://bit.ly/1qGV8Qw
http://bit.ly/1qGVaI5

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imforeverjustyours:

Summer Life

imforeverjustyours:

Summer Life

Video

Exceptional video of a collapsing iceberg in a bay off of Newfoundland. The screaming voice of the person taking the video just adds to it.

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Sapphire crystalWhle sapphire occurs in many colours, including yellow, green and orange, the most well known one is blue, in all its shades. The horizontal colour banding proves its natural origin, and the colour in this cluster is typical of its locality of origin: Ceylon/Sri Lanka. The gems here occur in alluvial placer deposits, as the original mother rock has eroded away over the aeons, but they represent the pulse of metamorphism that accompanied the welding together of the supercontinent Gondwana some half a billion years ago, leaving lovely metamorphic gems strewn across the landscapes of several continents, a region that I call the gemlands (see http://tinyurl.com/k6464q6). Lanka sapphires are typically a paler blue, compared to the electric soft blues of Kashmir or the dark inky ones of Australia and Thailand. Of course these days most sapphires are heat treated to improve both colour and clarity, and wide diversities of colour found in nearly every mining area, but the traditional names often stick. Expensive stones are often sold with a certificate of origin, an assessment based on inclusions (long rutile needles in Sri Lanka’s case), growth patterns in the blue colour lines and trace element geochemistry. The specimen exhibits the typical hexagonal barrel shape and horizontal striations across the width of the crystal of corundum crystals. LozImage credit: Heritage Auctions

Sapphire crystal

Whle sapphire occurs in many colours, including yellow, green and orange, the most well known one is blue, in all its shades. The horizontal colour banding proves its natural origin, and the colour in this cluster is typical of its locality of origin: Ceylon/Sri Lanka. The gems here occur in alluvial placer deposits, as the original mother rock has eroded away over the aeons, but they represent the pulse of metamorphism that accompanied the welding together of the supercontinent Gondwana some half a billion years ago, leaving lovely metamorphic gems strewn across the landscapes of several continents, a region that I call the gemlands (see http://tinyurl.com/k6464q6). 

Lanka sapphires are typically a paler blue, compared to the electric soft blues of Kashmir or the dark inky ones of Australia and Thailand. Of course these days most sapphires are heat treated to improve both colour and clarity, and wide diversities of colour found in nearly every mining area, but the traditional names often stick. Expensive stones are often sold with a certificate of origin, an assessment based on inclusions (long rutile needles in Sri Lanka’s case), growth patterns in the blue colour lines and trace element geochemistry. The specimen exhibits the typical hexagonal barrel shape and horizontal striations across the width of the crystal of corundum crystals. 

Loz


Image credit: Heritage Auctions

Photoset

The Tapeats Sandstone

Throughout the Grand Canyon area, the Great Unconformity represents at least 200 million years of time where no rocks were deposited. The seas retreated, leaving the basement rocks to erode away. But, 525 million years ago, the seas returned and the geologic record resumed.

The Tapeats Sandstone is the first unit on top of the Great Unconformity. The unit represents a shallow marine deposit, made up of sediments deposited in settings like modern-day sand bars, beaches, and channels. 

The unit’s maximum thickness is about 250 meters, but he Tapeats actually isn’t deposited everywhere. In some places, the next unit up is actually deposited directly on top of the Grand Canyon Supergroup rocks. That means at the time of Tapeats deposition, there was substantial topography in the area. There were mesas and hills made up of the strong quartzites of the Supergroup and of the Vishnu Schist basement standing as islands amongst the channels where the sandstone was deposited.

The Tapeats also, as you see here being pointed at by this helpful person from Flickr, contains a variety of larger pebble and cobble-sized clasts. Many of these are made of familiar rocks; components of the Vishnu Schist and the Shunimo Quartzite, strong units deposited previously, are reworked into the Tapeats. The presence of these large clasts also suggests high-energy flows, like debris flows or turbidites, carried the clasts out to sea.

The Tapeats contains a variety of Cambrian-era fossils and trace fossils, including tracks of creatures like trilobites. It also contains the mineral glauconite, an iron-bearing mineral that forms sand-sized grains and also is likely a remnant of life, either of waste or of bodies after death. Various other sedimentary structures, like cross bedding and ripple marks are found as well.

As a strong, hard to erode sandstone, the Tapeats stands out and forms the strong platform around the central gorge in many areas of the Canyon. The Tapeats also marks the beginning of a long period of marine deposition both here and throughout the Western U.S. Although the rock types change slightly, sandstones correlative to the Tapeats can be found throughout the West, again as far north as Montana, all indicating the seas rising and beginning to claim the continent.

-JBB

Image credits (Creative Commons):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/alanenglish/3609981986
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ceedave/4647884862

References: http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/coloradoplateau/lexicon/tapeats.htm
http://geology.swau.edu/faculty/tapeats.html
http://hikearizona.com/dexcoder.php?PID=1942

Oh you have got to visit the Tapeats on Google Streetview.
https://www.google.com/maps/views/view/streetview/colorado-river/tapeats-sandstone/jXK-DOmUBE4PPqCz6A7CBw?gl=u&heading=263&pitch=107&fovy=75

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Photoset

rockon-ro:

Silty sandy turbidite beds within marine shale of the Jurassic Fernie Formation near Banff, Alberta, Canada. Due to differential weathering, the more resistant turbidite siltstone tend to stick out from the outcrop. The beds are part of an overturned syncline. Depositional scouring marks can be seen on the base of the turbidite units. Top (younger rocks) is towards the right.

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The Gray GlacierOne of the many beauties that graces Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park is this wonderful glacier, that flows into a lake of the same name. LozImage credit: Boludo

The Gray Glacier

One of the many beauties that graces Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park is this wonderful glacier, that flows into a lake of the same name. 

Loz

Image credit: Boludo

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Agate bowlCarved in the early 20th century in Idar Oberstein, the traditional centre of German gem carving since antiquity, this unusual agate bowl makes marvellous use of the colours and banding of the rough material. The oranges and reds are caused by natural iron oxide staining, and the rim of the bowl conserves the rough rind of the geode making for an amazingly intricate piece.LozImage credit: L.J. Conklin Galleries

Agate bowl

Carved in the early 20th century in Idar Oberstein, the traditional centre of German gem carving since antiquity, this unusual agate bowl makes marvellous use of the colours and banding of the rough material. The oranges and reds are caused by natural iron oxide staining, and the rim of the bowl conserves the rough rind of the geode making for an amazingly intricate piece.

Loz


Image credit: L.J. Conklin Galleries

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Mughal jade cupIt wasn’t just the Chinese that were in love with carved jade in multiple forms, their neighbours across the Himalaya developed a fine taste for it too, embellishing the stone with their own special brand of intarsia work (inlaying hard stone into soft, like on the Taj Mahal). Jade is very tough to carve, and the work represented in hollowing out a boulder to make such a delicate near paper thin cup must have been phenomenal, taking the imperial artisans many years. This cup was made in the 18th century out of ‘mutton fat’ nephrite jade and was used for wine. The inlay work in traditional Muslim plant forms includes gold surrounds and carved rubies and emeralds. The piece resides in the Musee Guimet in Paris.LozImage credit: Vassil

Mughal jade cup

It wasn’t just the Chinese that were in love with carved jade in multiple forms, their neighbours across the Himalaya developed a fine taste for it too, embellishing the stone with their own special brand of intarsia work (inlaying hard stone into soft, like on the Taj Mahal). Jade is very tough to carve, and the work represented in hollowing out a boulder to make such a delicate near paper thin cup must have been phenomenal, taking the imperial artisans many years. This cup was made in the 18th century out of ‘mutton fat’ nephrite jade and was used for wine. The inlay work in traditional Muslim plant forms includes gold surrounds and carved rubies and emeralds. The piece resides in the Musee Guimet in Paris.

Loz

Image credit: Vassil