Evaporites and the Environments in Which They Form (April 2 & 4)

For evaporites, there is nothing quite like a virtual field trip to a sabkha, courtesy of Dr. Wikipedia. The Wikipedia page on evaporites is another good gateway of information and links. I’ve worked with the evaporites in the Purbeck Formation (Jurassic-Cretaceous) of southern England. We can take another virtual field trip to the Great Salt Lake in Utah to see modern evaporites forming. (I was there three years ago and will show plenty of photos in class.) You can also take a short trip to Badwater in Death Valley — the lowest point in North America — where salts of various kinds are forming from evaporation. (The Wooster Geologists visited Death Valley during a Spring Break trip.) The Dead Sea (Israel and Jordan) is a fascinating place for geology, ecology, economics and politics, as you can see in this short video and this recent visit by Melissa Torma and me. Did you know that during the Miocene the Mediterranean Sea became a vast evaporative basin? Of course you didn’t — this is why you need me!

Dr. Ian West, who, as we Americans often say, is “very British,” has a comprehensive page of sedimentary geology web resources, including bibliographies. It may be useful for your research paper. If you want to see all the ways to get hurt on a geological field trip, check out his safety page.

Just for your entertainment, here is utter nonsense with a sedimentological basis: “The Artistic Technology of the Ancients: Osijela Hill in the Bosnian Pyramid Complex“. It is a bottomless pit of senseless speculation grounded on complete ignorance of sedimentary structures and stratigraphy.

Your second lecture exam is on Thursday, April 4, and it covers everything we have done through Tuesday, April 2. Here is a copy of the Spring 2017 Sed Strat test.

Teepee structure in a modern halite deposit; Dead Sea, Israel. Note a Wooster IS student for scale! (Click to enlarge.)

Geology in the News –

There has been a fantastic discovery of soft-bodied fossils in the Cambrian of China. The Qingjiang Biota rivals the Burgess Shale Fauna — at least half of the species are unknown to science. Bob Gaines of Pomona College is one of the co-authors on the first of what will be many papers.

Here’s a bit from the world of nonsense: “Why do flat-earth believers still exist?“. The most archaic and ridiculous ideas about our Universe are increasing in popularity, despite unprecedented access to real science. Explore why.

Here’s a story about dinosaur reconstructions (as in museums) catching up with the science.

Finally, check out the departmental blog describing our recent field research in the Jurassic of southwestern Utah. Spring Break is a great time for geology out West.

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