Thursday, December 06, 2007

Layers of History

Road Cut Geology

A long time ago I studied Geology at SDSU, for a time, I even thought that it could become my life's work. My professor was an older woman named Ann Terry and she had the ability to take a lump of rock and make it come alive, she will always remain in my memory as a teacher who opened my eyes and awareness to a whole new world. She instilled in me a passion and love for Geologic Science. I stayed with it just long enough to learn what I wanted before moving off to another "passion of the moment". Still...Professor Terry's love for how the earth has been shaped, eroded, transported, deposited and reformed over the course of time left a lasting impact on me and I find myself watching and analyzing the geographical landscape wherever we wander.
So far I have been able to refrain from passing on to you my under-educated (but nonetheless amazingly insightful) analysis of the world's geological features as we have traveled...until now.
Some months back we were skirting along Turkey's Black Sea coast when we came across this incredible road-cut and geologic feature.
Black Sea Strata

Limestone and Conglomerate

If you realize that all these "layers" had to be laid down flat in the ocean, as in a river or series of rivers moving a certain type of sand, rock or sediment over a period of time out to sea and depositing them in fairly uniform thickness..these pictures show an amazing history of upheaval and deposit repeated over and over again until tectonic, volcanic or some over catastrophic event raised these layers from the bottom of the sea to form the tops of the mountains.
The egg-heads could explain this more succinctly than I have...but to stand just a few days later in the foothills of Mount Ararat where history tells us a tremendous flood changed the landscape of the world and saved a generation or two of folks to continue our species, made me realize once again how fortunate we have been to Live, Travel and Wander of the Far Side of the World and stand in a place where history was made.

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Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World