Author Archives: Metageologist

Great Geology in Google Maps: mapping from above

In most cases, geological maps are made by piecing together observations of hundreds of individual outcrops. Boundaries between types of rock are covered in grass and sheep and have to be traced on the map later as a line between rock outcrops, like … Continue reading

Categories: Great Geology in Google earth, sediments

Hot spot volcanoes: no plumes required?

It’s a simple and well-known picture. Volcanoes form either at plate boundaries due to subduction or inside plates due to mantle plumes. Invoking plumes – columns of hot rock rising from deep in the mantle – is an awfully useful way of explaining … Continue reading

Categories: Deep earth

Great Geology in Google Maps: dunes

Google Maps is a great resource, particularly in satellite view. My favourite way to enjoy it is via the Chrome extension “Earth View from Google Maps“. This pops up a gorgeous image in every new tab. Many show human landscapes, but … Continue reading

Categories: Great Geology in Google earth, sediments

Tasting the earth: mantle geochemistry

If seismologists listen to the earth then geochemists taste it. Like experts blind-tasting a glass of wine and recognising where it came from, geochemists studying the deep earth aim to find out where a particular liquid came from. Their liquid – basaltic magma formed … Continue reading

Categories: Deep earth, geochemistry