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callan bentley

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

Geomedia: Books: Looking at the World Anew in "The Planet Remade"

Geoengineering, the deliberate large-scale modification of environmental processes on Earth, is often proffered as a solution to climate change. The transfer of carbon long sequestered in geologic repositories to the atmosphere has raised greenhouse gases to levels unprecedented in the history of our species. As a result, the average surface temperature and the heat content of the oceans have both increased.

02 Jun 2017

Travels in Geology: Geo-diversity and geologic history in the North West Highlands of Scotland

The complex rocks of the North West Highlands of Scotland —which span two-thirds of Earth’s history — include the oldest rocks in the United Kingdom, as well as some young, glacially sculpted landscapes. They also hold a prominent place in the history of geology.
09 May 2017

Geomedia: Books: Exploring "The Worst of Times"

Every reader of this magazine knows something about mass extinctions. But few of us know as much as Paul B. Wignall, a professor of paleoenvironments at the University of Leeds in England who studies mass extinctions. In 1997, he co-authored with Anthony Hallam a scholarly volume titled “Mass Extinctions and their Aftermath.” Now, his first book aimed at a popular audience, “The Worst of Times: How Life on Earth Survived Eighty Million Years of Extinctions,” has been issued in paperback.

02 Feb 2017

Travels in Geology: Scotland's stunning Shetland

Off the northern coast of Scotland lies a cluster of islands featuring worldclass coastal landforms, otherworldly volcanic rocks, ophiolites and important metaconglomerates, plus friendly people and a great many sheep.

23 Dec 2016

Getting there and getting around Shetland

Getting to the Shetland Islands requires taking a ferry from mainland Scotland. Ferries are very comfortable and well-run, with a smooth overnight passage from Aberdeen to Lerwick. We took that route up to Shetland, and a different route — to the Orkney Islands — on the way back. The schedule running from Lerwick to the town of Kirkwall (in Orkney) is less ideal, arriving in the middle of the night, but the local hotels are used to their guests dropping in at midnight.

23 Dec 2016

Geomedia: Books: The danger of anti-data ideologies is explored in 'Denying Science'

I see science denialism as a pernicious problem in modern society. It was with some anticipation, then, that I recently read John Grant’s 2011 book “Denying Science.” In it, I found a mix of indignation and new information, as well as a lot with which I was already familiar.

02 Mar 2016

Comment: GSW: A celebrated society celebrates its 1,500th meeting

The October 2015 meeting of the Geological Society of Washington was the society’s 1500th. It’s worth a look back at the last 123 years.

10 Dec 2015

Hazardous Living: Maps, according to geologists

If you have geologist friends, you may have run across some humorous world maps on social media lately. These maps have garnered lots of attention and we found them amusing, so we're sharing them. 

26 Aug 2015

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