Monthly Archives: August 2009

Time Allotment

Have you see the NYT interactive results for how people use their time? I don’t want to get distracted by an in-depth analysis, but I’m fascinated by toggling between those with a Bachelor’s degree and those with an Advanced degree. … Continue reading

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On Things that go Suck in the Night

I tease that planetary formation is a delightfully broken science, one where every exoplanet we discover seems to poke an unpatchable hole in the latest and greatest theory. In contrast, I am astounded by the beautifully precise mechanics of orbital … Continue reading

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Literature Review

When writing a literature review, one of two things is supposed to happen: You know nothing and learn everything. You start off with a mental structure of what information you need to learn, and systematically review the literature to fill … Continue reading

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Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Martian Meteorites!

Whoa.

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Rangitoto Island, New Zealand

Rangitoto, New Zealand is the youngest and largest volcano in the Auckland Volcanic Field. With a final eruption at least 600 years ago, the volcanic island is slowly weathering into soil. The rate of weathering is increased both by rainfall-watered … Continue reading

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Dual-Scale Weathering

The landscape of rounded boulders at Joshua Tree Park, California, are the legacy of weathered bedrock. As overlaying material is eroded away, the release in pressure leads to exfoliation — shedding the crust of weathered rock. On a much shorter … Continue reading

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Paleodunes at Barwon Heads

The bluffs of Barwon Heads are aeolian calcarnite — solidified sand dunes. As rain fell on the sand dunes, the top surface is cemented as calcrete. More dunes formed on top, and more, and more, with layers of hardened calcrete … Continue reading

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The Beach of Wonthaggi

Coastlines are landscapes of constant change. Near Wonthaggi, Australia, the shore is stabilized by extensive rock platforms and high rock-cored sand dunes. Small erosion patterns etch into the sand as the ebbing tide drains off the beach, and a river … Continue reading

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Basalt Cobbles & Onion Skin Weathering

At Settlement Point east of Melbourne, extensive basalts and tuffs of the Older Volcanics form the cliffs and shore platforms. The spherical weathering occurs as water penetrates along joints and fractures, decaying the rock layer by layer like onion skin. … Continue reading

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Squeaky Sand on the Friendly Beach

The white sands of Friendly Beach, Tasmania, Tasmania, squeak under every step. The sand is nearly pure silica, originating in quartz-baring rocks, eroded into sand, compacted into sandstone, and re-eroded into fine, smooth, rounded grains. The black rock shore platforms … Continue reading

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