Taxonomy term

travels in geology

Southern Rhone wines

The Rhône Valley’s wine-growing regions are divided into two sections, with only its southern portion located in Provence. The Southern Rhône is best known for distinctively spicy red wines, the result of producing extremely low yields from very old vines whose grapes’ sugar content and acidity levels are further concentrated by the region’s fierce winds. The result is unusually dense wines full of earthy flavors.

 
24 Feb 2014

Travels in Geology: A taste of Provence

Nestled among the soaring Alps, the shining Mediterranean Sea, and the historic Rhône River, Provence, France — one of the world’s foremost tourist destinations — offers visitors scenic, gourmet, and geologic delights. The region’s rugged mountains, extensive plateaus and vineyard-lined slopes result from the Alpine orogeny, the mountain-building episode that uplifted the Pyrenees and the Alps in southwestern and southeastern France. The land in between was more modestly deformed, then gradually eroded over millions of years, to create the chefs-d’oeuvre — the masterpiece — that we now call Provence.

24 Feb 2014

Travels in Geology: Antarctica: Following in the footsteps of giants

In fall 2012, when I told friends and colleagues that I was heading south for a few weeks, they assumed that I, like many other northeasterners, was going to Florida or the Bahamas for a break from winter weather. Instead, I was headed to the iciest and southernmost place on Earth: Antarctica.

02 Jan 2014

Ship life

Perhaps the most common question I’ve gotten after returning from my trip is, “Did you get sea sick?” The answer is yes, but I wasn’t miserable. And in truth, very few individuals missed out on any of the shore excursions because they didn’t feel well.

02 Jan 2014

Getting there and getting around in Antarctica

Traveling to Antarctica pretty much requires being part of an organized tour, something tens of thousands of people do each year. We went on a trip arranged by the Geological Society of America and Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris. If you aren’t lucky enough to take a scientific tour, there are plenty of more traditional tours that will get you there. Most depart from Argentina, but some go through the Falkland Islands as well as Australia and New Zealand.

02 Jan 2014

Getting There and Getting Around Croatia

Most visitors to the Bay of Kotor arrive via cruise ship or an all-day excursion from Dubrovnik, Croatia. These options usually leave only a few hours to enjoy Kotor and neglect most of the bay’s other attractions.

 
24 Dec 2013

Travels in Geology: The Bay of Kotor: Europe's southernmost "Fjord"

With its stunning backdrop of steep, imposing cliffs that plummet to a narrow inlet of the sparkling Adriatic Sea, Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor is often called Europe’s southernmost fjord. But this is a mistake. Unlike the finger-like inlets adorning the coasts of more famous European destinations like Norway and Iceland, the Bay of Kotor was not carved by glaciers. This impressive bay was instead created when rising sea levels drowned an ancient river valley — a feature geomorphologists call a ria.

24 Dec 2013

Boondocking 101: How to camp for free in Wyoming

When I drove this loop around Wyoming last spring, I did it in 10 days, camped out every night and didn’t pay for a single campsite. Wyoming is replete with public land: Nearly half of the state’s lands are held by the federal government and managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. Travelers are free to camp on BLM lands or national grasslands or in national forests,  a practice known as dispersed camping, boondocking or coyote camping. You can stay in one site up to 14 days, but you must honor “Leave No Trace” ethics: After you leave your campsite, there should be no trace that you were ever there. 

 
24 Nov 2013

Witnessing geology in action: A rockfall in the garden of the gods

In lieu of doing a "year in review" issue this year, EARTH asked our staff and some frequent contributors to write a short commentary on something that grabbed their attention in 2013. We gave everyone carte blanche. What follows is a collection of extremely varied, often very personal insights into how the planet impacted each individual. In this commentary, EARTH's roving reporter Mary Caperton Morton muses on on how witnessing a rockfall made her think about geologic time.

21 Nov 2013

Getting There and Getting Around Nebraska

Many visitors to western Nebraska’s geoheritage sites will probably be “driving through” en route to more famous sites, such as Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Rocky Mountain national parks to the west or the Badlands and Mount Rushmore just to the north. But commercial air service is available directly into Scottsbluff, Neb., as well as Cheyenne, Wyo., and Denver, Colo. (about 160 and 320 kilometers away, respectively). A car is necessary to get around the area; you can rent one at any of these airports if you choose to fly in. If you’re driving through the area on Interstate 80, which runs from New York to San Francisco, you’ll pass through the Nebraskan panhandle.

 
24 Oct 2013

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