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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Geologic Field Camp: Blooming and In Tents, Lumping and Splitting

     Ah, nostalgia for geologic field camp and geologic field work emerges in the springtime like saguaro cactus blooms and ocotillo flowers!




     Gearing up for 6-week or longer treks into Arizona, Mexico, Arkansas, and Nevada included these sorts of checklists (minus the computer in the 70's and 80's):




      We've discussed some field gear including rock hammer and Brunton compass here at PEOTS before:



         Other additions include tape measures, notebooks, chisels, rock bags, and markers. At the heart of every geologist's field record is the field notebook, made of carefully-stitched waterproof paper which notes cross-sections, sample locations, and other field observations tied to aerial photographs, LANDSAT images or Geographical Information Systems (GIS):



       It's a dense, "chucky-jam-full" source of information about every day in the field. Entering data and observations into an electronic tablet or Smartphone doesn't have the same thrill for me. I recall making every inch of every page count. . .These notes, especially cross- sections are geological works of art.



      One of my most memorable experiences was comparing my Paleozoic era cross-section with a dozen or more units to the cross-section from a geological engineer at field camp. His read "rock" or "bedrock" for the entire cross-section!

       Are you a lumper or a splitter?

Happy almost spring from the latter,
Steph

18 comments:

  1. Steph,
    There seems to be a typo at the center of your pictorial checklist… I believe that should be “beer barrel.”

    Nice notebook! Saving scads of trees with your chucky-jam-full ink-scribbly pages. My conclusion: Splitters are splendidly specific; Lumpers are lugubriously lazy!

    Speaking of trees, the saguaro cactus blooms look like these, and the locotillo flowers look like redbirds taking wing from trees.

    LegoLocotilLocotilLocotillLoco…

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    Replies
    1. As in beer barrel polka, Lego?

      Great Disney blooms--thanks, LegoLoco!

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    2. Finally had time to watch this all the way through, Lego. The tree harpist is delightful, as are the mushrooms that go underground, and the flowers that spray water on the encroaching flames. It's so good, I can even forgive the unrealistic rainbow at the end!

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  2. Could you explain "babbco brew"? The only thing I found with that name is a company making tunnel ovens near Boston.

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  3. It's an image I grabbed off the interwebs. A little searching for "Babco Brew" turned up a private brewing company in California, USA. . .

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    Replies
    1. Ah, so. I didn't know whether it was a technical term for some Colorado geology equipment, like "pot"....

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    2. Ah, so, indeed. Reasonable thought. I did go to field camp in southeast Arizona, though, where all our brews were had at bars with velvet paintings of Elvis, puppies playing poker, and naked women all over the walls. . .

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    3. Ah, so, indeed. Reasonable thought. I did go to field camp in southeast Arizona, though, where all our brews were had at bars with velvet paintings of Elvis, puppies playing poker, and naked women all over the walls. . .

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    4. Do sedimentary geologists drink at sand bars? With rock music playing on the jukebox?

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  4. Replies
    1. I have Leafsnap on my iPhone. It doesn't work very well (but then, I haven't used it lately, or much).

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    2. Ooh, that looks like fun. . .

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  5. Hey, Steph, is your email still "wordwomans@gmail.com"?

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    Replies
    1. I check that address quite infrequently but just sent you a message, jan.

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  6. Replies
    1. Great link, jan, thanks!

      We are in the midst of a wild March blizzard today. 10 inches of swirling snow so far after 67 degrees and blooming fruit trees yesterday.

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  7. New post on "Shrinky Dinks: Crumpled Graphene" is up.

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