geology – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Tag Archives: geology

making the geologic now

[Jinanqiao Dam under construction on the Jinsha River. New “mega-dams” such as Jinanqiao in high seismic risk zones — territories prone to earthquakes, in other words — are at the center of a highly consequential scientific debate about whether the dams are making disasters like catastrophic 2008 Wenchuan earthquake more likely and frequent. Fascinatingly, the argument is […]

event horizon

[A seaplane taxis in Jamaica Bay, 1918, with Barren Island in the background; source.] I recently contributed a short piece to the excellent Fulcrum. The piece begins with a very short version of the bizarre history of Dead Horse Bay and Barren Island — about which I had to leave out eccentric anecdote after eccentric […]

geologic city

[SPL’s open-pit salt mine in the Tarapacá salt flats, via Google Maps.] In December, after we began our winter hiatus, Urban Omnibus posted ran a fantastic post by Elizabeth Ellsworth and Jamie Kruse, “Geologic City”, which briefly summarized several of the much longer “Geologic City Field Reports” which have run on the Friends of the […]

pathological superpositions

I’ve mentioned before my fondness for the blog Pathological Geomorphology, but this month’s theme is particularly fantastic: the interface of human landscapes and geomorphology.  In Green River, Utah (above), for instance, an extinct oxbow determines contemporary land-use patterns; other examples so far include farmed alluvial fans in Asian deserts, Pennsylvania farmland interspersed between anticlines, and […]

“a state of perpetual fracture”

[“The faults induced by military speleogenesis will lead to gradual yet certain failure of the jet noise barrier.”] Nick Sowers (Soundscrapers) has recently posted a series at the Archinect school blog project exploring his recently-completed thesis project from a succession of disciplinary perspectives, which he titles the Archaeologist (who introduces the project), the Forensic Engineer, […]

geology as infrastructure

Smudge Studio’s Geologic Time Viewer re-casts the “official Geologic Time Scale” as not only a way of looking back into the past, but also a window into the present: “the materialities of every previous geologic epoch flow into the present-as-middle and give form to our daily lives.” We learn, for instance, that iron infrastructures, like […]

pathological geomorphology

[Russian thermokarst near Nova Zembla] I’ve been tremendously entertained lately by Pathological Geomorphology, a blog run by “a loosely defined and unified group of geobloggers” which catalogs “images of extreme landscapes, landforms, and processes”.   April is “delta month” (or, as one of their bloggers put it, “April deltas bring May fold and thrust belts”), so […]

geologic helium machine

[A portion of the Cliffside field snakes tentacles across flat pasture concealing ancient anticlines.] Just outside Amarillo, Texas, the Cliffside field stores much of the nation’s helium reserves in a naturally-occurring geologic dome. It is part of a complex of partially-privatized fields, mines, domes, and pipelines which extends nearly two hundred miles north-south, from the […]

absent rivers, ephemeral parks

[American Falls de-watered, via Flickr user rbglasson] For six months in the summer and fall of 1969, Niagara’s American Falls were “de-watered”, as the Army Corps of Engineers conducted a geological survey of the falls’ rock face, concerned that it was becoming destabilized by erosion.  During the interim study period, the dried riverbed and shale […]

a glacier is a very long event

The following post, which is more a catalog of related items than a singular argument, has been written to engage the “Glacier/Island/Storm” studio BLDGBLOG is currently teaching at Columbia GSAPP, as a part of a timed release of material into the blogosphere coordinated across a bank of architecture, design, and technology blogs; you can find […]

the city beneath the city

Our intention for a while now has been to write a bit more about what we like to refer to as “landscapes in search of an architect”, or those places whose phenomenological, industrial, psychological, geological, and/or ecological (and that list could go on, and on) characteristics suggest to us the possibility of an exceptionally interesting […]

beneath the antarctic ice

[Composite false color image of the Erebus Ice Tongue, a 7-mile-long, 33-foot-high sheet of ice projecting off the Erebus glacier in Antarctica, carved into unusual shapes by the summer waters of McMurdo Sound; via Wired Science: “During the summer, when the rest of the sea ice in McMurdo melts, the ice tongue floats on the […]