I, for one, am not displeased to see that the pace of recent Where on Google Earth challenge solutions has once again returned to something resembling normalcy. I’m just back from about two weeks travelling and once my own routine returned to some semblance of normalcy I was pleased to find that Péter Luffi’s WoGE #287 was waiting patiently to be solved. And solve it I did, though it took an hour or two of searching to polish off the rust that had built up while I was away. It’s good to be able to get the old blogging juices flowing in the traditional manner…
As always, it’s hard to guess whether my new locality will be easy to find or whether it will prove to be a needle in a haystack. In any case, I’m not putting any restrictions on those who wish to find it (no Schott Rule). Seek the spot in Google Earth, and when you’ve found it you can claim the right to post WoGE #289 on your own Geoblog by commenting below with the locality (latitude and longitude, please) and a brief description of the geologic origin and significance (if any) of the landforms seen in the image below.
… and since a river evidently runs through this challenge, I’ll wish you “Happy Fishing”!
[Hint added 6/3/11: In order to aid the weekend warriors who are willing to don their waders and seek out this river I think it’d be in order to offer an obtuse hint as to the location of WoGE #288. After all, this is meant to be a fishing expedition, not a wild goose chase.
So here it is: The location of WoGE #288 is closer to a different ocean than this river ultimately drains into. (So for example, the headwaters of the Amazon are generally closer to the Pacific Ocean than the Atlantic Ocean, thus would qualify.) Obtuse enough for you?]
[Final hint added 6/10/11: The first European to fish here was Dr. Livingstone, I presume.]
Since Dana asked so nicely (and persistently), I suppose I oughta break my blogging silence and contribute to Accretionary Wedge #34.
I refuse to find much “weird” about geology – the scientist in me cringes a bit every time someone describes a natural phenomenon as “crazy” – but there is one geologic phenomenon that does come to mind when the term “weird” is in play: quicksand. My first introduction to the phenomena came in my early childhood watching reruns of the Lone Ranger (the episode is “Quicksand”, Season 5, Episode 8). Sadly, I can’t find even a decent episode summary online, but the power of the phenomena was visual anyhow. It appears the studios haven’t gotten around to making this particular episode available, so I can’t relive my horror. Let me assure you, it was a traumatic introduction to discover that not all terra is firma, and it made a lasting impression.
Since then my encounters with quicksand have been few and far between. I recall a picture in the great 1960′s editions “America’s National Parks” from National Geographic of a hiker knee deep in quicksand in Zion National Park, being pulled out by his companions. That proved to me that this wasn’t just some movie/TV plot device, but a real geologic phenomenon. (Evidently hikers still do encounter quicksand hiking at Zion.) After that, I encountered Henri Charrière’s description (probably exaggerated) of killer quicksand on the South American coast in his novel Papillon. And there’s the moment in Lawrence of Arabia where Daud cashes it in. Of course, over the years I’ve learned plenty about how to save yourself if you ever do encounter real quicksand (movie quicksand being all but inescapable), but I’ve never had the opportunity to put it into action.
I understand the basic physics of thixotropy, and have certainly experienced the related phenomena of beach sands and certain muds that liquify when shaken, but none of these strike me as being genuine quicksand in the traditional sense of the phenomena. I suppose this is just one of those weird geologic phenomena that I’ll have to keep exploring to discover firsthand.