Geologist's 100 things meme

Via the Lost Geologist I came across this 100 things meme – what have I done or seen? It was started by Geotripper; check the comments there for other people's lists. I am rather late to this, yet at the end of the year, it's a nice opportunity to look back.

Bold marks things I have done or seen. If I have seen/done something similiar but not the “real thing”, I have used italics.

  1. See an erupting volcano.
  2. See a glacier. (Iceland)
  3. See an active geyser such as those in Yellowstone, New Zealand or Iceland. (Geysir and Strokkur in Iceland)
  4. Visit the Cretaceous/Tertiary (KT) Boundary. Possible locations include Gubbio, Italy, Stevns Klint, Denmark, the Red Deer River Valley near Drumheller, Alberta.
  5. Observe (from a safe distance) a river whose discharge is above bankful stage. (flooding in the Allgäu, my home area in the Alps)
  6. Explore a limestone cave. Try Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Lehman Caves in Great Basin National Park, or the caves of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. (I've seen a great karst cave in former Yugoslavia when still a child, but that doesn't really count, I think. Also I've seen some cave at home (Sturmannshöhle) which is not that big…)
  7. Tour an open pit mine, such as those in Butte, Montana, Bingham Canyon, Utah, Summitville, Colorado, Globe or Morenci, Arizona, or Chuquicamata, Chile. (active and abandoned open-cast lignite mines in the Lusatia district)
  8. Explore a subsurface mine.
  9. See an ophiolite, such as the ophiolite complex in Oman or the Troodos complex on the Island Cyprus.
  10. An anorthosite complex, such as those in Labrador, the Adirondacks, and Niger.
  11. A slot canyon. Many of these amazing canyons are less than 3 feet wide and over 100 feet deep. They reside on the Colorado Plateau. (Are these limited specifically to the Colorado Plateau, or do other narrow canyons also count?)
  12. Varves, whether you see the type section in Sweden or examples elsewhere. (Only strongly deformed Bänderschluff.)
  13. An exfoliation dome.
  14. A layered igneous intrusion, such as the Stillwater complex in Montana or the Skaergaard Complex in Eastern Greenland.
  15. Coastlines along the leading and trailing edge of a tectonic plate.
  16. A gingko tree, which is the lone survivor of an ancient group of softwoods that covered much of the Northern Hemisphere in the Mesozoic.
  17. Living and fossilized stromatolites. (Only fossilised, in a geological collection / museum)
  18. A field of glacial erratics.
  19. A caldera.
  20. A sand dune more than 200 feet high.
  21. A fjord. (Iceland)
  22. A recently formed fault scarp.
  23. A megabreccia.
  24. An actively accreting river delta.
  25. A natural bridge.
  26. A large sinkhole. (in Staßfurt, caused by subrosion)
  27. A glacial outwash plain. (Only the pleistocene outwash plains of Northeast Germany which are of course now covered by vegetation)
  28. A sea stack. (The Needles, Isle of Wight, UK)
  29. A house-sized glacial erratic.
  30. An underground lake or river. (Only a rather small underground brook.)
  31. The continental divide. (The European Divide – between Rhine / North Sea and Danube / Black Sea)
  32. Fluorescent and phosphorescent minerals.
  33. Petrified trees. (Only pieces, in a geological collection / museum; also coalified tree pieces in-situ and whole coalified trees on display elsewhere)
  34. Lava tubes
  35. The Grand Canyon. All the way down. And back.
  36. Meteor Crater, Arizona, also known as the Barringer Crater, to see an impact crater on a scale that is comprehensible.
  37. The Great Barrier Reef, northeastern Australia, to see the largest coral reef in the world.
  38. The Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada, to see the highest tides in the world (up to 16m).
  39. The Waterpocket Fold, Utah, to see well exposed folds on a massive scale.
  40. The Banded Iron Formation, Michigan, to better appreciate the air you breathe.
  41. The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
  42. Lake Baikal, Siberia, to see the deepest lake in the world (1,620 m) with 20 percent of the Earth’s fresh water.
  43. Ayers Rock (known now by the Aboriginal name of Uluru), Australia. This inselberg of nearly vertical Precambrian strata is about 2.5 kilometers long and more than 350 meters high.
  44. Devil’s Tower, northeastern Wyoming, to see a classic example of columnar jointing.
  45. The Alps. (I've grown up in the German Alps and have also seen the parts in Austria, Switzerland, Italy.)
  46. Telescope Peak, in Death Valley National Park. From this spectacular summit you can look down onto the floor of Death Valley – 11,330 feet below.
  47. The Li River, China, to see the fantastic tower karst that appears in much Chinese art.
  48. The Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, to see the original Karst.
  49. The Gorge of Bhagirathi, one of the sacred headwaters of the Ganges, in the Indian Himalayas, where the river flows from an ice tunnel beneath the Gangatori Glacier into a deep gorge.
  50. The Goosenecks of the San Juan River, Utah, an impressive series of entrenched meanders.
  51. Shiprock, New Mexico, to see a large volcanic neck.
  52. Land’s End, Cornwall, Great Britain, for fractured granites that have feldspar crystals bigger than your fist.
  53. Tierra del Fuego, Chile and Argentina, to see the Straights of Magellan and the southernmost tip of South America.
  54. Mount St. Helens, Washington, to see the results of recent explosive volcanism.
  55. The Giant’s Causeway and the Antrim Plateau, Northern Ireland, to see polygonally fractured basaltic flows.
  56. The Great Rift Valley in Africa.
  57. The Matterhorn, along the Swiss/Italian border, to see the classic “horn”. (Only other horns in the Alps, which are similar but not as impressive.)
  58. The Carolina Bays, along the Carolinian and Georgian coastal plain.
  59. The Mima Mounds near Olympia, Washington.
  60. Siccar Point, Berwickshire, Scotland, where James Hutton (the “father” of modern geology) observed the classic unconformity.
  61. The moving rocks of Racetrack Playa in Death Valley.
  62. Yosemite Valley
  63. Landscape Arch (or Delicate Arch) in Utah
  64. The Burgess Shale in British Columbia
  65. The Channeled Scablands of central Washington
  66. Bryce Canyon
  67. Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone
  68. Monument Valley
  69. The San Andreas fault
  70. The dinosaur footprints in La Rioja, Spain
  71. The volcanic landscapes of the Canary Islands
  72. The Pyrennees Mountains
  73. The Lime Caves at Karamea on the West Coast of New Zealand
  74. Denali (an orogeny in progress)
  75. A catastrophic mass wasting event
  76. The giant crossbeds visible at Zion National Park
  77. The black sand beaches in Hawaii
  78. Barton Springs in Texas
  79. Hells Canyon in Idaho
  80. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado
  81. The Tunguska Impact site in Siberia
  82. Feel an earthquake with a magnitude greater than 5.0.
  83. Find dinosaur footprints in situ.
  84. Find a trilobite (or a dinosaur bone or any other fossil).
  85. Find gold, however small the flake.
  86. Find a meteorite fragment.
  87. Experience a volcanic ashfall.
  88. Experience a sandstorm.
  89. See a tsunami.
  90. Witness a total solar eclipse. (August 1999)
  91. Witness a tornado firsthand.
  92. Witness a meteor storm, a term used to describe a particularly intense (1000+ per minute) meteor shower.
  93. View Saturn and its moons through a respectable telescope. (Depends on the definition of “respectable”.)
  94. See the Aurora borealis, otherwise known as the northern lights.
  95. View a great naked-eye comet, an opportunity which occurs only a few times per century. (Halley, Hale-Bopp)
  96. See a lunar eclipse.
  97. View a distant galaxy through a large telescope.
  98. Experience a hurricane.
  99. See noctilucent clouds.
  100. See the green flash.

Not being a “real” geologist, my total of 15 items is rather poor compared to others. I hope this changes in the future. (A proper trip to the US might greatly improve the score…)

Comment 1

  1. Geotripper 1 ⟨ 31 Dec 2008, 05:35 PM | #  ⟩

    The list was definitely oriented towards American sites, and there are no hard and fast rules! You can count caves in Europe, and other horns in the Alps. We will try to make a more world-wide list in February. Welcome to the meme!

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