Blog Profile / Geotripper

Filed Under:Academics / Geology
Posts on Regator:1199
Posts / Week:2.5
Archived Since:March 16, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Travels in Death Valley: the Strange Story Told By a "Rock"...

A beautiful collection of colorful rocks lie scattered across the surface of an alluvial fan in Death Valley National Park a few miles south of Furnace Creek. There is a piece of vesicular (full of holes) basalt on the lower right, next to a piece of gray limestone. Show More Summary

Two Death Valleys in One: Travels in Death Valley Version 1.0

It's certainly not the first time I've talked about Death Valley, Version 1.0 (see this post, for instance), but it's also a story of unending fascination. The deep and very long fault graben that forms the main axis of Death Valley National Park is only the latest in a series of fault valleys that have formed here over millions of years. Show More Summary

Spring is Coming, and Flowers are Awakening in the Sierra Nevada Mother Lode

It's still a bit early to see the awesomeness to come, but the spring wildflowers are beginning to make a splash of color in the Sierra Mother Lode. With the record and near record amounts of rain in Northern California, the slopes are...Show More Summary

New Exhibit at the Great Valley Museum: Homo Naledi and MJC's Dr. Debi Bolter

If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I work in a wonderful Science Community Center, which has a the marvelous Great Valley Museum (the GVM) taking up most of the bottom floor. The museum has existed for more than thirty years, but spent most of that time in a cramped 1930's vintage house. Show More Summary

Liveblogging the Deluge: It Ain't Over 'til the Fat River Drains...A Six Month Flood is in Process

The flooding in California hasn't been in the news all that much of late, but that doesn't mean the threat is over. The atmospheric river storms that have been hitting the state like an out-of-control fire hose have been turned off for...Show More Summary

A Place Where Water Once Was But Was No Longer, But Once Again Was (sort of) - Travels in Death Valley

Yes, I used that silly title a few weeks ago, but today it is in a very different context. We were continuing our exploration of the Death Valley region, and we were still dealing with the effects of the Bombogenesis storm that dropped so much precipitation across Southern California. Show More Summary

Travels in Death Valley: An Island of a Different Kind in Ash Meadows

Welcome to one of the most remarkable places in the United States. It's a large island in the middle of the hottest and driest desert in the country. I freely admit that the unprepossessing photograph above is one of the least likely...Show More Summary

So You Were in Death Valley During Bombogenesis...Did You Get Any Rain?

Explosive cyclogenesis (also referred to as a weather bomb, meteorological bomb, explosive development, or bombogenesis) refers in a strict sense to a rapidly deepening extratropical cyclonic low-pressure area. One of those things hit Southern California a few weeks back, at the very moment that we were exploring Death Valley National Park. Show More Summary

Volcanoes in the Mist (and underground): Travels in Death Valley

The Inyo Mountains, in any other setting in the world, would be considered a major mountain range, preserved as a national park perhaps, and celebrated as scenic wonderland. But just like an accomplished sibling overshadowed by a more...Show More Summary

A Place Where Water Once Was But Was No Longer, But Once Again Was - Travels in Death Valley

I'm finally not "liveblogging the deluge" anymore. I thought back at the beginning of January that I was monitoring a historic flood event that was going to be over with in just a few days. Somehow, new storms kept blowing through, and I was watching and monitoring flood activity around the state. Show More Summary

Liveblogging the Deluge: Checking out the Spillway at Don Pedro Reservoir

It's probably not too hard to figure out what happened. I get home from a five day trip only to find that the spillway at Don Pedro Dam has been opened for the first time since the floods of 1997. It's a big event in these parts, an acknowledgement that the reservoir was full and in danger of spilling over in an uncontrollable manner. Show More Summary

Liveblogging the Deluge: Big Changes on the Tuolumne River

Source: I've been away for the last five days, experiencing California's storms from an entirely different perspective, that of being exposed and out in the open country of Death Valley National Park. Show More Summary

Liveblogging the Deluge: San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge - What a difference a few months made (and Rabbits)

The San Joaquin River at the National Wildlife Refuge in November 2017 Just a few months ago, the San Joaquin River, and its major tributary the Tuolumne River, were in big trouble. The worst drought in California's recorded historyShow More Summary

Liveblogging the Deluge: A Tuolumne River Update, and Scenes on the San Joaquin

The travails at Oroville Dam are appropriately dominating the news this week as nearly two hundred thousand people remain isolated from their homes as the operators work to temporarily shore up the failing spillways at the lake. It should...Show More Summary

Liveblogging the Deluge: Reflections on the Events at Oroville Dam. What Will it Take to Change Things?

This picture is on the San Joaquin River, not the Feather. It's a metaphor for floods all around. Let me be absolutely clear: this is a serious situation. Nearly two hundred thousand people have been evacuated as officials try to deal with two crumbling spillways at Oroville Dam as high river flows have filled the reservoir past capacity. Show More Summary

Liveblogging the Deluge: Meanwhile, Back at the Local Dam...Don Pedro Reservoir Today

With all the attention being directed at Oroville Dam today with the broken spillway, it's a bit too easy to forget that similar conditions are being experienced all across Northern California. Several reservoirs are approaching full capacity, including Lake Shasta (96%), and Don Pedro Reservoir (97%). Show More Summary

Liveblogging the Deluge: The Concerns (Panic?) at Oroville Dam, a Story We've Seen Before

The graphic above (from the Los Angeles Times, Google Earth, and the California Dept. of Water Resources) succinctly explains the serious problem unfolding right now at Oroville Dam on the Feather River. The lake is the second largest reservoir in California backed behind the highest dam in the United States. Show More Summary

Half Dome Makes a Surprise Appearance on the Floor of the Great Valley Today

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

It doesn't happen for me all that often, maybe because of air pollution, or the fact that I characteristically drive past the spot only once a week, but I can occasionally spot Half Dome in Yosemite Valley from the floor of the Great Valley (some people call it the Central Valley, but we know better). Show More Summary

Pseudoscience, Scientific Illiteracy and the Greatest Human Journey. What to do?

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

How many people do you know? How many of them are scientists? Wait a did THAT happen?? Many people do not know scientific researchers in their everyday lives, and that is a situation that seriously needs to change. There...Show More Summary

Lady Gaga, Woody Guthrie, and the Times We're Living In

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

Lady Gaga has never been mentioned in my blog before, but she earned my deepest respect yesterday when she included the Woody Guthrie song "This Land is Your Land" to open the Super Bowl half-time show. Because generations of children...Show More Summary

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