Taxonomy term

travels in geology

Travels in Geology: Climbing Mount Shasta

As we neared the top of the West Face of Mount Shasta, my calf muscles felt like they were pulling apart, stretching to the breaking point. My crampons merely dinted the shimmering snow, leaving dainty bird-like tracks. Roped behind our guides, our group of three climbers switchbacked slowly up the 35-degree-angle slopes. Approaching nearly 4,000 meters in elevation, my lungs grasped for air.

24 Jun 2011

Travels in Geology: Lassen Volcanic National Park: A volcanic wonderland

For breathtaking volcanic scenery, few places have the variety found in Lassen Volcanic National Park in the Cascade Range of Northern California. The park boasts five varieties of volcanoes: plug domes, cinder cones, lava cones, shield volcanoes and a stratovolcano called Brokeoff volcano (or Tehama volcano). Bubbling hot springs, boiling mud pots and fumaroles in six geothermal fields in the southern part of the park complete the picture.

24 Jun 2011

Travels in Geology: Stonehammer Geopark: A billion years of stories

Stonehammer Geopark lies along the rugged Bay of Fundy on Canada’s southeast coast. Centered on Canada’s oldest incorporated city, Saint John, New Brunswick, it is the first North American member of the Global Geoparks Network, 77 parks established over the past decade with the assistance of UNESCO. Geoparks strive to connect people with the landscape, highlighting the intersection of society and geology.

06 Jun 2011

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah: Earthquakes or Volcanoes?

The name of the Dead Sea’s Mount Sodom comes from the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Old Testament says God destroyed the cities with fire and “flaming smoke” for the sins of their inhabitants. God allowed Lot and his family to flee the destruction. But Lot’s wife disobeyed God’s orders and was turned into a pillar of salt. Mount Sodom is made almost entirely of halite — sodium chloride — and among the formations near the Dead Sea is a pillar known as Lot’s Wife.

07 May 2011

Getting There and Getting Around Israel

Flights from the United States to Israel arrive in Tel Aviv, a cosmopolitan resort city known for its restaurants, clubs and beaches roughly in the middle of Israel’s Mediterranean coast. From there it is a two-hour drive to the Dead Sea. Renting a car at the airport is the easiest way to get around, but taxis will also take you there. From Jerusalem, you can also catch a bus to the Dead Sea from the central bus station.
07 May 2011

Travels in Geology: Soaking up the Dead Sea: A trip to Israel's salty sea is a geological and historical delight

Almost anywhere you turn in Israel, you’re bound to find fascinating geology or the remnants of ancient human history. Some of the best of both can be found where you might least expect it — near the Dead Sea, one of the least hospitable places on Earth. Located in the western Judean Desert on the border between Israel and Jordan, the sea is an artifact of incredible tectonic activity, which also birthed the jagged mountains that surround one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water.

07 May 2011

Travels in Geology: Trekking the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most popular hikes in the world. It’s so popular that in recent years, the Peruvian government has had to limit trail traffic by plastering the trek with a lot of red tape. You have to apply months ahead for a permit, hire a certified guide and show your passport at four different checkpoints along the way. Despite the hassle, each day hundreds of people sign up. And for good reason: The Inca knew how to lay out a scenic route.

30 Mar 2011

Getting There, Getting Around and Getting Informed

Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey’s capital, are both easy to fly to from the United States. Within Turkey, most travelers opt for the inexpensive but well-developed bus system, including overnight routes that take you from one part of the country to another while you sleep. (I recommend bringing earplugs and a sleep mask if you actually want to get some sleep.)

07 Feb 2011

Travels in Geology: Ever-Changing Turkey

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously quipped that “change is the only constant.” Few places on Earth are as emblematic of change, both geological and historical, as the Republic of Turkey.

07 Feb 2011

Travels in Geology: Precipitous peaks and dunes in Colorado

Majestic snow-capped “fourteeners,” alpine meadows carpeted in wildflowers, pristine mountain lakes. These are the images most people associate with Colorado. One of the best places to experience this rugged wilderness is Rocky Mountain National Park in the northern part of the state.

04 Feb 2011