What Shall We Do Next at Rosetta Stones?

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in Mount St. Helens photos lately, which has sort of short-circuited my brain in interesting ways. Every time I try to think of a topic for our next Rosetta Stones post, I end up with visions of a particular volcano swimming through my head. Alas, it can’t be all Mount St. Helens all the time over there. My editors like us to get our heads out of the Pacific Northwest and take a peek at other sorts o’ geology every once in a while.

So. Let’s think of some non-northwest topics you’d all be interested in. We’ve done some geology on other planets recently, so let’s stay on this one. And we’ll be doing lots of Mount St. Helens stuff, so let’s also avoid volcanoes for a bit. What are some other things about geology that you want to know? Are there any particular types of rocks you’d like to know more about? Should I do a geokitteh? Let me know!

Image is a yellow caution sign with a car beside a cliff with falling rocks. There are two figures in the car. One is pointing at the cliff. Underneath, a caption says "Watch for geologists."

What Shall We Do Next at Rosetta Stones?
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4 thoughts on “What Shall We Do Next at Rosetta Stones?

  1. 1

    Here are my requests:

    Reconstruction of continental drift over the Earth’s history. This is very well-established for supercontinent Pangaea (300 Mya to 175 Mya) and later, and moderately well-established for supercontinent Rodinia (1300-900 Mya to 750-600 Mya) and later. There is an older proposed supercontinent, Columbia / Nuna / Hundsonland (2.5 Gya – 1.6 Gya) in the early Proterozoic, and even older proposed ones like Ur, Kenorland, and Vaalbara. It can be hard to find non-paywalled depictions of these older ones.

    How continents grow: accretion of island arcs, microcontinents, and the like.

    Hotspot volcanoes like Hawaii and Yellowstone.

    Large Igneous Provinces: big lava plains like the Columbia Plateau and the Deccan and Siberian Traps. If you want to go extraterrestrial again, then there are also plenty of big lava plains on Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars.

    “I was there” accounts of what it was like in the Earth’s past.

  2. 2

    I agree that continental drift/plate tectonics is a good subject. Maybe also a more detailed series on how North America got put together.

    Then again, a series on all of the different career paths available to someone with a geology degree might be useful to some of your younger readers — perhaps including guest posts from some of your geologist friends.

  3. 3

    Eastern Oregon is only a long day’s drive from you and the geology is nearly as exposed as Arizona. Base yourself at Bend for a few days. John Day country, fascinating clay formations and fossils. A whole semicircle of volcanoes visible from Bend, climaxing with Newberry National Volcanic Monument with a peak with twin caldera lakes and a cinder cone between them. And then you are kinda sorta close to Lava Beds NM just over the border in CA. And a long day’s drive home up I-5. Rooooooad Trip!!!!

  4. 4

    One interesting feature just a bit north is Mount Edzza in NW BC. It is part of a mini pull apart feature where vulcanism is coming from the continent being pulled apart somewhat by the direction of plate tectonics. In this area there are several volcanic features, all part of the North Cordilleran Volcanic province ranging from NW BC to near Fairbanks Ak. Here is a link to the wikipedia article, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Cordilleran_Volcanic_Province Note that instead of compressional tectonics here we have extensional tectonics along the same plate boundary, less than 500 miles apart.

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