Call For Posts – Accretionary Wedge #49: Out of This World

The time for our next Accretionary Wedge is nigh. I suppose it’s about time for your host to let you know what the topic is, then, innit?

With Curiosity landing at the base of a three mile high mountain on Mars, I think we all know there’s only one sensible choice: we must head for other worlds!

Curiosity’s first photo of Aeolis Mons (Mount Sharp). The 3 mile high mountain in the middle of Gale Crater was named for geologist Robert Sharp, one of the finest field geologists America ever had. He worked with NASA on several Mars missions before his death in 2004. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Dude. That is us, snapping photos on another planet like typical tourists. Okay, science tourists, but still. And this mission has got a lot of geology in it. I’m loving this mission. But it’s not the only time we’ve done some exogeology. So let’s don our space suits and explore some alien geology! There’s lots to choose from:

Mountains on Mars

Mercury Messenger’s unprecedented look at a hot planet

Io’s volcanoes

Venus’s bizarre surface

Plate tectonics on other worlds*

Hydrogeology on other planets (and if fluvial morphology is caused by liquids other than water, what do we call it?)

And more!

This image is the first high-resolution color mosaic from NASA’s Curiosity rover, showing the geological environment around the rover’s landing site in Gale Crater on Mars. The images show a landscape that closely resembles portions of the southwestern United States in its morphology, adding to the impression gained from the lower-resolution thumbnail mosaic released early in the week. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Can’t get out of the Earth’s gravity well this month? Not a problem! There’s plenty of “other-worldly” geology right here on our home planet, from features so bizarre you’d swear they’re from outer space to places where space agencies have tested equipment like rovers and trained astronauts to walk on other worlds. Places so remote and inaccessible we’ve been to Mars more often than we’ve explored them. Places that are so extreme that we turn to them for ideas of what to look for beyond our pale blue dot.

Since it’s already mid-month, I’ll give you a smidgen of extra time to explore: try to have your posts in to me by September 7th. We’ll publish the 2nd week of September.

Don’t miss the rocket – this edition’s gonna be a blast!


*Sorta like this, only a little different, because I’m going to see if I can arm-twist Steven into submitting this one.

Call For Posts – Accretionary Wedge #49: Out of This World

Accretionary Wedge #40: Hey, Pumpkin, You Rock!

Okay, yes, lame-ass post title. It’s all a cunning plan to get you to click away from here and go savor the spicy pumpkin goodness of the 40th Accretionary Wedge, in which geo-lanterns are on delightful display.

See? We still do geology round here occasionally! More to come, I promise!

Accretionary Wedge #40: Hey, Pumpkin, You Rock!

The Photo Not Taken


This month’s Accretionary Wedge is a tough one.  When I go out to a geological locality these days, I tend to come away with about everything I could possibly ever need or want – until later, when during some research I find out there was more to the place than I suspected, and it’s an immediate “D’oh!”

Happens to us all.

I’ll tell you what my regrets are, though.

I regret not appreciating Arizona’s geology until I moved up here.  There are entire swaths of the state I used to roam freely, but I didn’t take pictures of the sights I saw or the rocks I befriended.  I have very few good photos of my beloved Peaks, or of Page’s amazing sandstones.  I don’t have pictures of the desert light pouring like honey over the landscapes.  I thought it would be enough to take those things away with me in my mind’s eye, but then I found you, my darlings, and until someone comes up with an app for that, there’s no way for me to take a snapshot of memory and show you rather than tell you about it.

I regret not having got a better camera years ago.  The old camera I had couldn’t do those landscapes justice.

And I regret not having a recording device.  Because I’ve visited a lot of incredible localities with very knowledgeable people, and I have so few of their words left in my memory.  I have a horrid memory.  And I wish I could replay lectures and conversations, I wish I had video and audio of those experiences, so I could absorb them in their entirety.  All I have is an impressionistic image, a hint of a voice and a snippet of knowledge, and it’s not enough.

So the next time I go out, yes, I’ll have the camera and the collecting bags and a digital voice recorder, and while my box of regrets won’t be empty when I return, at least it will be a little less full.

The Photo Not Taken

Accretionary Wedge #35 Now Available!

Don’t miss it, my darlings! Evelyn has gathered a lovely outcrop of delicious geology words in Accretionary Wedge #35: Favorite Geology Words.  For those of you thinking said topic is boring, well, you haven’t seen what geo types can do with their favorite words.  I think some of it might still be banned in a few more conservative states…

Do enjoy!

Accretionary Wedge #35 Now Available!

Accretionary Wedge #34: Call for Posts

And this time, it’s gonna get weird.

Not just because I’m hosting, although that’s weird enough.  But we’re talking about Weird Geology.

Let’s face facts, people.  Geology can be strange.  Outrageous.  Bizarre.  I’m sure you’ve all run into formations and landscapes and concepts that have left you scratching your head.  Maybe they got less weird later.  Maybe they stayed strange.  But however transient or permanent that weirdness was, it got weird.

So tell us about it.  Hit us with the strangest stuff you’ve got.

And then throw me a link in comments here, or at the main Accretionary Wedge site.  Let’s say, oh, by May 27th, so that I can have us all weirded out by the 29th.

Accretionary Wedge #34: Call for Posts

Don't Miss the AW Mardi Gras Extravaganza!

We’ve got another AW deadline fast approaching, and nobody wants to miss a parade, now, do they?

It’s Carnival time or Mardi Gras time in Louisiana . This year the season is long – going from Jan 6 (Twelfth night) to March 8 (Fat Tuesday – day before Ash Wednesday). Since the Accretionary Wedge is suppose to be a carnival of blogs I think it is only fitting the wedge should have a parade of the blogs. I’m willing to be the captain of this parade.

The theme will be “Throw me your ‘favorite geologic picture’ mister” Lets have the floats (submissions) ready on March 4th so it can roll on March 8. Carnival time is all about having a good time and having some fun so lets get some colorful, fun pictures submitted. Laissez les bons temp rouler!! (Let the good times roll!)

 Please leave your posts in the comment section or email me at [email protected]

And for those thinking of hosting, Ann’s also compiled a list of previous topics as an aide d’muse.  I can’t host until the winter writing season’s over, so all y’all have a chance to scoop my idea.  No, I won’t tell you what it is!  You’ll just have to host first and wait to see if your topic causes me to wail.

(Bonus: Ann’s also got evidence for us snow-bound folk that spring will happen.  Happy sigh.)

Get yer parade gear on and mount up, geos!

Don't Miss the AW Mardi Gras Extravaganza!

Accretionary Wedge #31: Do Whut Nao?

Accretionary Wedge #31 is up at The Geology P.A.G.E., and it’s a delight:

As you can see by the title (Wait, What?) the topic for this month’s Accretionary Wedge (#31) is surprising geological knowledge. And we had a ton of fantastic contributions to the topic.

Beautifully compiled, too!  It’s Sunday.  Sit back and relax with some prime geology, my darlings.  You have earned it.

Accretionary Wedge #31: Do Whut Nao?

Accretionary Wedge #30: OM NOM NOM!

My darlings, it’s here.  The sideboard groans under deposits of geologic delights.  And I’d have a lot more to say about it, except I have this sudden and inexplicable urge to eat until I explode.

If all the participants wish to form a commune, I’ll be happy to find us a place with an enormous kitchen!

And I do believe it may be time for us to stop considering how to bring the masses to science via brains and hearts and start considering stomachs instead….

Accretionary Wedge #30: OM NOM NOM!