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Deeply buried

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One way to find deeply buried uraninite, therefore, would be to drill test holes in inclined aquifers. Wherever you found unusual concentrations of organic matter, you would move up the aquifer and drill again. If you found red oxidized sandstone, you would know that uraninite was somewhere between the two holes. Drafting his report to the Geological Survey, Love described the “soft porous, pink or tan concretionary sandstone rolls in which the uranium was discovered,” and added that “the commercial grade of some of the ore, the easy accessibility throughout the area, the soft character of the host rocks and associated strata, and the fact that strip-mining methods can be applied to all the deposits known at the present time, make the area attractive for exploitation.” With those sentences he had become, in both a specific and a general sense, the discoverer of uranium in commercial quantity in Wyoming and the progenitor of the Wyoming uranium industry-facts that were not at once apparent. Within the Survey, the initial effect of Love’s published report was to irritate many of his colleagues who were committed hydrothermalists and were zakelijke energie vergelijken prepared not to believe that uranium deposits could occur in any other way. They were joined in this opinion by the director of the Division of Raw Materials of the United States Atomic Energy Commission. A committee was convened in the Powder River Basin to confirm or deny the suspect discovery. All the members but one were hydrothermalists, and the committee report said, “It is true that high-grade mineral specimens of uranium ore were found, but there is nothing of any economic significance.” Within weeks, mines began to open in that part of the Powder River Basin. Eventually, there were sixty-four, the largest of which was Exxon’s Highland Mine. They operated for thirty-two years. They had removed fifteen million tons of uranium ore when Three Mile Island zakelijke energie shut them down. In i952, after Love’s report was published, the Laramie Republican and Boomerang proclaimed in a banner headline, ” LARAMIE MAN DISCOVERS URANIUM ORE IN STATE.” The announcement set off what Love described as “the first and wildest” of Wyoming’s uranium booms. “Hundreds came to Laramie,” he continued. “I was offered a million dollars cash and the presidency of a company to leave the U.S.G.S. At that time, my salary was $8,640.19 per year.”

The State of Washington

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Much of a hot spot’s energy is expended in thinning the plate above it. Where the plate is already thin, most of the energy will appear at the surface in outpourings such as lava flows. When a plume has to come up through thick old craton, it makes kimberlites, carbonatites, gas-rich blowouts. The plume is expressing itself as a diatreme, the extremely focussed volcanic event that brings diamonds out of the mantle and explodes them into the air at Mach 2. The conduit is called a pipe because it is so narrow. The rock left inside it after the explosion is kimberlite. When Bermuda was under Kansas, it sent up the Riley County kimberlites. For many years, these diamond pipes were described as cryptovolcanic structures, meaning that nobody knew what they were. Later, they were thought to be meteorite zakelijke energie strikes. In i975, in Riley County, a hole was drilled with a tungsten-carbide bit that could smoothly cut its way through anything but diamonds. It went down sixty feet, where all penetration ceased. The bit was pulled. It was grooved and scarred. There are “meteor impacts” along the Bermuda track in Tennessee, southern Kentucky, and Missouri. Morgan thinks they are diatremes, or, as he puts it, “hot-spot blasts.” They lie in a matrix of Paleozoic rock. If in fact they are meteor impacts, the hot spot would have lifted up the country and caused the erosion that exposed them to view. In Morgan’s summation, “the thing works for me either way.” When Bermuda was under Wyoming, in Neocomian time, the Rockies did not exist, but the magmas of the Idaho batholith had recently come in, a short distance up the track. When Bermuda was under the State of Washington, the State of Washington was blue ocean. If the track is followed back to two hundred million years, Bermuda seems to have been under Yakutat, Alaska. Hearing most of this for the first time at zakelijke energie vergelijken a colloquium in Princeton, a graduate student said, “This is like playing chess without the rules.” During the past twenty million years, the region that we like to call the Old West is thought to have been passing over not one but two hot spots, which have done much to affect the appearance of the whole terrain.

White shales

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There are white shales as well, and waterlaid strata of white volcanic ash. As these sediments thicken to a depth approaching six thousand feet, the lake that rests upon them is always shallow, and full of freshwater clams and snails, and some beavers and aquatic mice. While the lake is accepting sediment, the bottom of its bottom is sinking at the same rate. With a loud terminal hissing, lavas flowing down from Yellowstone cool in the lake as obsidian. Fiery billows of sticky fog come down the valley as well. It cools as tuff. The big lake vanishes. In successive earthquakes, there is more valley faulting, damming the valley streams to form deep narrow zakelijke energie vergelijken lakes, which appear suddenly and as quickly go. Off the fast-rising block of mountains, erosion has by now removed fifteen thousand feet of layered sediments, and the Precambrian granites-with their attendant amphibolites, schists, and gneisses, and a vertical streak of diabase-are the highest rock below the sky. Bent upward against the flanks of the Precambrian are the brokenoff strata of the Paleozoic era, and the broken-off strata of the Mesozoic era-serrated, ragged hogbacks, continually pushed aside. Perched on the granite at the skyline is a bit of Cambrian sandstone that the weather has yet to take away. On the opposite side of the Teton Fault, the same sandstone lies beneath the valley. The vertical distance between the two sides of this once contiguous formation is thirty thousand feet. That brings the chronicle essentially to the present, but still the blackish mountains look more like hips than breasts. Now off the Absarokas, off the Wind Rivers, off the central Yellowstone Plateau-and, to a lesser extent, down the canyons of the Tetonscomes a thousand cubic miles of ice. A coalesced zakelijke energie glacier more than half a mile thick enters and plows the valley. The west side of this glacier scrapes along the Tetons above the level of the modern timberline. Melting away, the glacier leaves a barren ground of boulders. More ice comes-a lesser but not insignificant volume-and a third episode, which is smaller still.

A hundred-million-dollar

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In i918, a hundred-million-dollar oil-and-gas field was discovered at Big Sand Draw, where John Love gave up his first homestead, in i897. After the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of i920, oil companies could obtain leases directly from the government. A rancher’s claims no longer intervened. A rancher zakelijke energie vergelijken needed fifty thousand dollars to drill on his own.
It was the general opinion on the range that if a man had that kind of money he did not need an oil well. Our mirage disappeared completely.
Emblematically, fire broke out in the oil fields of Lost Soldier, fifty miles southwest, and for weeks lighted up the night sky. In Horseshoe Gulch, six miles from the ranch, Sinclair Wyoming drilled forty-three hundred feet and found gas, which came out with such force that it destroyed the drill stem and blew the wooden derrick to pieces.
When the blast came, the driller was carrying a hundred-pound anvil across the rig floor. He told us that he raced half a mile over the sagebrush before he realized that he still held the anvil.
The Loves hitched up a wagon and went after the wood. They would bum the entire derrick in their kitchen stove.
David picked up a small, rough chunk of soft gray shale, blasted out of the depths of the well. He saw in it tiny marine fossils and fragile, lustrous pieces of mother-of-pearl, the size of his fingernail, that had once held the bodies of living clams; they came from more than half a mile underground; they lived before the time zakelijke energie of men on the earth; they had been buried, how many ages, since they moved about that unseen shore. The driller told him that those shells predicted the presence of oil. . . . He brought home the rock with the delicate shells embedded in it and has kept it ever since in an Indian bowl.

Spheres of tumbleweed

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Love’s response to that question was ‘What do you suppose?” We had seen-a mile or two away-a hole in the ground eleven miles long, four miles wide, and deeper than the Yellow Sea. There were some puddles in it, but it did not happen to intersect any kind of aquifer, and basically it was dry. With a talent for understatement, the people of Laramie call it the Big Hollow. Geologists call it a deflation basin, a wind-scoured basin, or-more succinctly-a blowout. The wind at the Big Hollow, after finding its way into some weak Cretaceous shales, had in short order dug out four million acrefeet and blown it all away. Wind not only makes such basins but maintains them-usually within frameworks of resistant rock. On the Laramie Plains, the resistant rock is heavy quartzite gravel-Precambrian pieces of the Snowy Range which were brought to the plains as the beds of Pleistocene rivers. Wet or dry, all the lakes we passed had been excavated by the wind. It was a bright cloudless morning with a spring breeze. Spheres of tumbleweed, tumbling east, came at us on the interstate at high speed, like gymfuls of bouncing basketballs d1ibbled by the dexterous wind. “It’s a Russian thistle,” Love said. “It’s one of nature’s marvels. As it tumbles, seeds are exploded out.” Across the green plains, the Medicine Bow Mountains and the Snowy Range stood high, sharp, and clear, each so zakelijke energie unlike the other that they gave the impression of actually being two ranges: in the middle distance, the flat-crested Medicine Bows, dark with balsam, spruce, and pine; and, in the far high background, the white and treeless Snowy Range. That the one was in fact directly on top of the other was a nomenclatural Tower of Babel that contained in its central paradox the narrative of the Rockies: the burial of the ranges, the subsequent uplifting of the entire region, the exhumation of the mountains. As if to emphasize all that, people had not only named this single mountain range as if it were two but also bestowed upon the highest summit of the Snowy Range the name Medicine Bow Peak. It was up there making its point, at twelve thousand thirteen feet. We passed a stone ranch house a century old, and a set of faded ruts in the rangeland that were older than the house. This was the Overland Trail, abandoned in i868 after seven dismal years. “A nasty route,” Love remarked. “Steep grades. Many rocks. Poor water. Poor grass. It was three days across the Laramie Plains at ten miles a day. It was often muddy and boggy. A disaster.” When, in the orogeny, the Medicine Bow Mountains were shoved a few miles zakelijke energie vergelijken east, the rock in front of them folded. The anticlines among the folds formed traps for migrating fluids. All about us were pump jacks bobbing for .oil.

Wind Rivers

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And there was gold. At the south end of the Wind Rivers, nearly five million dollars had come out of small mines with names like Hard Scrabble, Ground Hog, Hidden Hand, Mormon Crevice, Iron Duke, Midget, Rustler, Cariboo, and Irish Jew. “None of the mines have been exhausted, but merely sunk to a depth where more and better machinery is required.” There was uranium, too, but as yet no compelling need to find it, and as yet no geologist equal to the task. As the zakelijke energie vergelijken winter continued, with its apparently inexhaustible resources of biting wind and blinding snow, temperatures now and again approached fifty below zero. Miss Waxham developed such an advanced case of cabin fever that she wrote in her journal, “My spirit has a chair sore.” Even when drifts were at their deepest, though, Mr. Love somehow managed to get through. “Much wrapped up” on one occasion, he rode “all the way from Alkali Butte.” On another, he spent an entire day advancing his education at the Twin Creek school. These attentions went on in much the same way for five years. He pursued her to Colorado, and even to Wisconsin. They were married on the twentieth of June, i910, and drove in a sheep wagon to his ranch, in the Wind River Basin. It was plain country with gently swelling hills. Looking around from almost any one of them, you could see eighty miles to the Wind River Range, thirty to the Owl Creeks, twenty to the Rattlesnake Hills, fifteen to the Beaver Divide, and a hundred into the Bighorns. No buildings were visible in any direction. In this place, they would flourish. Here, too, they would suffer zakelijke energie calamitous loss. Here they would raise three children -a pair of sons close in age, and, a dozen years after them, a daughter. The county from time to time would supply a schoolmarm, but basically the children would be educated by their mother. One would become a petroleum chemist, another a design engineer for the New Jersey Turnpike and the New York State Thruway, another the preeminent geologist of the Rocky Mountains.

Cyclic rhythm

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In cyclic rhythm with the other rock was limestone. Here and again, the highway was running on this soft impure limestone. It was sea-bottom lime, from dissolved or fragmented shells, which had lithified at least ten thousand feet lower than it is now. Woody asters were in bloom in the median, and blooming, too, by the side of the road, prospering on the lime. Love pointed them out with an edge in his voice. He said they were not Wyoming plants. They had come into Wyoming with trail herds of cattle and sheep, and later in trucks and railroad cars bringing hay from hundreds of miles to the south; and disastrously they had the ability-actually, a need-to draw selenium from the rock below. Selenium, which in concentration is toxic to people and animals, is given to the wind in some volcanic ash. A hundred kantoor huren per uur rotterdam million years ago, stratovolcanoes stood in Idaho, and they sent up ash that fell out eastward in the sea. The selenium went into the lime muds, and now these alien asters were drawing it out of the limestone and spreading the poison across the surface world, as few other plants can do. Most plants ignore selenium. Woody asters and a few others require selenium in order to germinate. After they take it up from the rock, they convert it into a form that nearly all plants will, in turn, take up, too. Seleniumcontaminated plants are eaten by sheep and cattle, which are served to people as chops and burgers. Concentrated selenium destroys an enzyme that transmits messages from brain to muscles. “Cattle and sheep get the blind staggers,” Love went on. “People are kantoor huren per uur amsterdam also affected. They get dishrag heart. The liver is damaged, and the kidneys. Selenium causes sterility. Worse, it causes birth defects. It’s a cumulative poison, like lead or arsenic. It’s one of the ingredients of nerve gas.” He gestured left and right. “These were prize salt-sage flats for sheep-grazing once. They’re now poisoned and dangerous. A bad selenium area stinks like rotten garlic. On a warmer day, you could smell it. Fifty years ago, one of my first jobs was to look for seleniumconverting plants up the Gros Ventre River.

From Ireland to Russia

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When von Humboldt went on field trips to look at rocks, he wore a top hat, a white cravat, and a black double-breasted frock coat that reached to his knees. He was imitated by, among others, Cuvier and von Buch. Agassiz was less formal, but in no particular did he resemble a scuffed-booted, blue-jeaned, twentieth-century field geologist when he set out with Charpentier to stroll through the valley of the upper Rhone. What Agassiz saw forever altered his life, as ice had co-working space rotterdam altered the valley. When he left, he had no remaining doubt of the truth of what Perraudin, Venetz, and Charpentier believed. Wandering the Swiss countryside low and high, he found further evidence everywhere he went-grooved rock, polished rock, moraines where ice had long been gone, boulders rounded off and set where water never could have shoved them. He visited similar landscapes in enough places to spread far in his imagination the contiguity they implied, and in one spark of intuition he saw the ice covering more than the valley, the canton, the nation. The idea of continental glaciation fell into place-a stunning moment of realization that ice many thousands of feet thick had been contiguous from Ireland to Russia. When the Helvetic Society met in Neuchatel in the summer of i837, Louis Agassiz-as its president-elect-addressed the savants. Instead of reading an expected discourse in paleontology, he outlined at great length the evidence and co-working space amsterdam chronology of glacial history as he had come to see it, announcing to the Society and to the world at large what would before long be known as the Ice Age. He called it the Epoque Glaciaire. By any name, at home or abroad, it did not overwhelm his colleagues. He was attacked far more than defended. Von Buch literally threw up his hands, and not without the perspectives of the future partly on his side, for Agassiz-like the “plate-tectonics boys,” as seen by Anita Harrishad not known where to stop.

The Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland

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The Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland appears to have been a part of such an island, and the Carolina Slate Belt, and a piece of Rhode Island east of Providence, and Greater Boston. A schedule of arrivals of incoming exotic terranes will account-as a simple continent-to-continent collision cannot do-for the long spreads of time between one and another of the Appalachian mountain-building pulses. As someone once compacted it for me, “you sweep the New Zealands and Madagascars out of the ocean and then you close it with the Alleghenian Orogeny.” Disagreeing interpreters see terranes of highly varied dimension. Nominated as the terrestrial remains of one exotic block is the whole of New England from Williamst own eastward, arriving in the Ordovician to lift the Taconic mountains. Exotic terranes and their effects represent only one of the responses of plate-tectonic theorists to the embarrassment caused by the failure of Exhibit A among intercontinental collisions to exhibit a finite suture. Another response has been the notion that when two continents collide there is every possibility that one will split the other, like an axe blade entering cedar; if so, you would find the invaded country rock both above and below the invader. The concept is known as  co-working space utrecht flake tectonics. Its message to Vibroseis is to stop shaking and go home. With a little erosion and flake tectonics, you can have the native rock reaching far under the rock from across the sea. Even so, the bunching of exotic terranes seems to solve more problems than flake tectonics does. Exotic terranes not only explain the intervals of time involved in the Taconic, Acadian, Alleghenian orogenies, they suggest as well why Taconic deformation occurred in the nmthem but not the southern Appalachians. Shortening collisional boundaries, they restore some dignity to the Brevard suture. Anita turned on the windshield wipers and wiped an April shower. Beside the interstate, the Pocono Devonian roadcuts were of much the same age and character as ones we had seen before. We co-working space schiphol passed them by. “Better not to do geology in the rain,” Anita said. “It’s unfair to the rocks.” With regard to the possibility of exotic terranes having added themselves to eastern North America, she said, “If you stretch out the overthrusts in the Appalachians, they show that-before the mountain building began-the continent was much larger than it is now, not smaller.”

The Dramatic Oil Company

Gerelateerde afbeeldingRiver flatboats carried the oil to market. Their holds were divided into compartments, much as the holds of supertankers are divided now. Millers in the valley were paid royalties to release water on cue from millponds, raising the level of the creek to float the flatboats downstream. They sometimes broke and spilled. The Dramatic Oil Company was established in the valley by John Wilkes Booth, who ruined his well trying to make it more productive. With failure, he departed, in the fall of i864, to look for other things to do. I am indebted for many of these facts to Ernest C. Miller, of the West Penn Oil Company, who collected them for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commissfon. By i871, oil was being pumped from the ground co-working space rotterdam in nine countries, but ninety-one per cent of world production still came from Pennsylvania. When it was distilled into its components-paraffin, kerosene, and so forth-the gasoline, which in those days had no commercial value, was poured off into the ground. Petroleum is rare because it represents an extremely low percentage of the life that has lived on earth. In rock, the ratio of all organic carbon to petroleum carbon is eleven thousand to one. For petroleum carbon to turn into oil and be preserved, many conditions have to align, the most important of which is the thermal history of the source rock-the temperature through time as recorded by, among other things, the colors of conodonts. “The petroleum in this valley makes some of the best lubricating oil in the world,” Anita said. “It is a very low-specific-gravity oil and needs little refining, because it has co-working space amsterdam been refined to near-perfection by natural earth processes. It has been at low temperatures-around a hundred degrees Celsius-for maybe two hundred million years. You can practically take it out of the ground and put it in your car.”