Meandering rivers paint stunning pathways across the landscape. Using lidar (light detection and ranging), we can see the history and beauty of a river's movements across their floodplain. In Relative Elevation Models (REMs), the elevation is normalized to the surface of the water so that all the features of the floodplain are highlighted. The resulting… Continue reading The beauty of rivers and their floodplains
via Dams disproportionately removed from areas with more non-Hispanic white residents Portland, Ore., USA: Since the 1970s, dams have been removed from the U.S. at an increasing rate, with the aim to improve the ecology of river ecosystems, fish migration pathways, water quality, and recreation spaces. “We have about 90,000 dams here in the United States… Continue reading Dams disproportionately removed from areas with more non-Hispanic white residents
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SXaMH8gV6I Earth fissures are long, narrow cracks in the ground that form where the ground is sinking. They can erode very quickly, posing a hazard to nearby infrastructure. In Arizona, land subsidence--the sinking of the earth--is caused by groundwater withdrawal, meaning that earth fissures are a man-made--or anthropogenic--hazard. This video that I made as part… Continue reading Understanding Earth Fissures: A Man-Made Geohazard
via A Greener Sahara: Ancient Oases and Prehistoric Human Habitation in the Modern Desert I was able to interview Dr. Kathleen Nicoll, an Associate Professor at the University of Utah, as part of the Geological Society of American Science Communication Internship. You can learn about some of the research Dr. Nicoll works on in the… Continue reading A Greener Sahara: Ancient Oases and Prehistoric Human Habitation in the Modern Desert
Thanks to a variety of weathering and erosive processes, rocks can come in all shapes and sizes. The above rock from the McDowell Mountains near Phoenix, AZ has a peculiar shape similar to that of a mushroom! This rock is an example of a tor--an exposed mass of rock that abruptly rises above the surrounding ground… Continue reading How do you form a mushroom rock?
Whenever I have the opportunity, I always try and grab a window seat on airplanes. Because I live in Arizona, I’m lucky enough to regularly fly over the American Southwest, which features some of the most stunning and dramatic landscapes from the air. In the image above—flying near the Chaco Canyon area in New Mexico—you… Continue reading An aerial perspective
Just by quickly looking at this harshly eroded landscape, you might think you were at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. In reality, this image is actually from Thornton Quarry just south of Chicago, Illinois; hardly a place where you would expect to see badlands-like formations. Badlands landscapes are predominantly erosional terrains. The rocks in… Continue reading The Badlands in Chicago?
While Wisconsin more so conjures images of snow and cold (and cheese) than it does the ocean, it actually has a spectacular coastline along Lake Michigan that undergoes traditional coastal geomorphology processes. Cave Point County Park in Door County, Wisconsin features great examples of wave-cut platforms (shown in the above photos). Wave-cut platforms are the… Continue reading Wave-cut Platforms and Coastal Geomorphology
Airplanes are great for seeing the awesome dendritic and meandering patterns of rivers ✈️
Located in northwestern Indiana along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, the Indiana Dunes are a fantastic display of aeolian (wind) processes at work. Incredibly tall sand dunes line the shores, and dune fields from former lake highstands extend even further back away. These impressive ‘beach mountains’ originated from glacially transported sediment post-last glacial maximum… Continue reading Geology of the Indiana Dunes