What’s up? The Friday links (33)

A very strange story happened in OC California some days ago (thanks @EricFielding for pointing me to that). A woman suffered serious burns because some rocks her kids found at a beach combusted spontaneously in her pocket. Immediately, a discussion started on twitter. What kind of rocks could that be? Hydrocarbon-bearing sediments? Coal? Phosphor? There have been some accidents with phosphor from World War II weapons that was washed upon the shore of the Baltic Sea. People confused it with amber. However, this is unlikely at California beaches. Mysterious rocks…

Crabs at a beach in Oman built these nice sand towers.

An interesting meeting:

From 17-20 September 2012 the XVI Wegener General Assembly will be held in Strasbourg, France. This will be an interesting meeting for all the earthquake people out there. Additionally, Strasbourg is a great place to discover French cuisine…

Soil memory:

The BGR (Germany’s Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe) published a soil memory online game on its website. If you want your children to become pedologists, let them play this game. Nice idea for educational purposes.

DIY low budget infrared camera:

Infrared cameras can reveal features invisible to the geologist’s eye, but they are still expensive. This website describes how to modify a low-budget camera to acquire infra-red pictures. If anyone has ever tried that and could report the results, I would be happy!


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Geology rocks:

Okay, we’ve always known that, but it’s official now: Geology rocks. Geology students are the happiest. “95% of the quized students were satisfied with their courses.”

Archive of historical earthquake data:

AHEAD (Archive of Historical EArthquake Data) is a great resource for historical EQ data from 1000 – 1899 in Europe. The events can be sorted or accessed by clicking on a map. Additional data on the source are provided. We are waiting for a world wide archive now. However: Thanks, great job!

Video on combinign GIS and LiDAR data for rockfall hazard assessment:

Tom from RWTH Aachen University made a nice video on his and his colleagues work on Madeira Island, Portugal. There’s a serious rockfall hazard on Madeira (no wonder given the geology and the topography, just add 3,000 mm of annual rainfall in a subtropical climate and you can guess what happens), and they addressed that problem by LiDAR to measure joints and the geometry of basalt columns in urban areas:


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Where on GoogleEarth:

If you need a break, have a look and try to solve my Where on GoogleEarth – WoGE #346!

Have a nice weekend!

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Christoph Grützner

Christoph Grützner

works at the Institute of Geological Sciences, Jena University. He likes Central Asia and the Mediterranean and looks for ancient earthquakes.

See all posts Christoph Grützner

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