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travels in geology

Travels in Geology: Northern Oman: Stunning canyons, towering dunes and the world's largest ophiolite

The small, politically stable sultanate of Oman hosts the world’s biggest and most intact ophiolite — a rare slice of oceanic crust emplaced on land — as well as stunning canyons, turquoise swimming holes, lush palm oases, Bronze Age tombs, endangered sea turtles and endless fields of sand dunes.
 
06 May 2018

Getting there and getting around the Causses

Toulouse is the best gateway to the Causses region. Toulouse-Blagnac Airport hosts plenty of flights to connecting cities in Europe, but no direct flights from the United States. Rent a car at the airport and head north to explore the region. The main highway going north to the Causses is well maintained, with fueling stations along the way that offer everything a traveler might need, including showers. Figuring out how to pay for gasoline was tricky — but that’s part of the adventure of travel.

06 Apr 2018

Travels in Geology: Underground awe in France: The caves of the Causses

The Causses du Quercy region in south-central France has been transformed into a karstic wonderland by the slow dissolution of limestone. The resulting caves, which served as shelters for early humans who left their bones, tools and art for us to ponder, are both geologically and paleoanthropologically fascinating.

06 Apr 2018

Travels in Geology: Corsica: A fusion of cultures on the Mediterranean's most mountainous isle

The rugged topography of the island of Corsica, off the coast of France and Italy, is a blend of rocks of very different ages and origins thrust together during one of Earth's great tectonic uphevals. 
09 Mar 2018

Travels in Geology: Las Vegas: The scenery beyond the slots

Beyond the Strip lie southern Nevada’s craggy limestone peaks, colorful sandstone canyons, and enormous conservation areas that, despite the searing desert heat, harbor a tremendous diversity of plants and wildlife. From soaring summits and graceful bighorn sheep to prehistoric petroglyphs, this desert oasis has a lot to offer the geo-minded traveler.
14 Feb 2018

Getting there and getting around Las Vegas

McCarran International Airport is the main gateway for exploring Las Vegas and the surrounding area. Except for sights along the Strip, it’s necessary to rent a car to see the attractions described here. If you fly in, you can rent a vehicle at the airport or take a shuttle or taxi into the city and rent a car as needed. Although all of these sites are open year-round, the best times of year to visit are in the spring and fall. In winter, it’s not possible to hike high in the Spring Mountains due to snow, and in summer the valley heat can be stifling. There are currently no visitor facilities or infrastructure at Tule Springs National Monument, but you can catch a glimpse of the fossil beds near one of two National Park Service signs, one located at the intersection of Moccasin Road and Durango Drive, and the other where North Decatur Boulevard meets Horse Drive.

14 Feb 2018

Travels in Geology: Roaming the rocky coastline of Downeast Maine

Maine is more than moose sightings, blueberry picking and lobster rolls. Explore the granite geology, scenic hiking trails and local color of the Downeast region, which spans the state’s northeastern coast, from Bar Harbor to the Canadian border.
11 Jan 2018

Travels in Geology: The geological riches of Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula

A drive around Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula — bordered by the St. Lawrence River to the north and Chaleur Bay to the south — reveals a rugged coastline dotted with quaint fishing villages, ancient rock formations and an abundance of Devonian-aged fossils that draw amateur and professional geologists alike.
14 Dec 2017

Travels in Geology: The diverse geology, landscapes and whiskys of Scotland's Southwestern Islands

For the geologically minded traveler, the Scottish isles of Arran and Islay showcase a suite of interesting rocks and landscapes, a wealth of cultural and recreational opportunities, and Scotland’s second-finest product (after the geology): single malt whisky.
06 Nov 2017

Getting there and getting around Scotland's Southwestern Islands

Ferry service to Arran and Islay is the primary way to access the islands from the Scottish mainland. Caledonian MacBrayne (“CalMac”) offers a “hopscotch” ticket package that goes from Ardrossan (close to Glasgow) to Brodick (Arran), across the Kintyre Peninsula, to Port Ellen (Islay), and then back to Kintyre, all on your own schedule, for £150, including ferrying your rental car. (We brought a rental car with us from the mainland, in the interest of being able to access outcrops where and when we wanted, but each island offers a municipal bus service as well.) Reserve a space for your car on the ferry during peak tourist times. Also, be prepared to be stuck on an island for a bit (usually not more than a few hours) if the weather turns.

 
06 Nov 2017

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