The roughnecks

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A Rock Springs policeman shot another Rock Springs policeman at point-blank range and later explained in court that he had sensed that his colleague was about to kill him. How was that again? The defendant said, ‘When a man has the urge to kill, you can see it in his eyes.” The jury saw it that way, too. Not guilty. Some people in Sweetwater County seemed to be of the opinion that the dead policeman needed killing. Love’s son Charlie, who lives and teaches in Rock Springs, once told us that the community’s underworld connections were “only at the hoodlum level.” He explained, “The petty gangsters here aren’t intelligent enough for the Mafia to want to contact. You can’t make silk purses out of sows’ ears.” The number of cowboys in Wyoming dropped from six thousand to four thousand as they rushed into zakelijke energie town to join the boom, disregarding the needed ratio of one man per thousand head of cattle. In desperation for help at branding time, calving time, and haying time, ranchers had to go to the nearest oil rig and beg the roughnecks to moonlight for a steam-driven water-cooled power plant, this one seemed to have a remarkably absent feature. It seemed to be missing a river. The brown surrounding landscape was a craquelure of dry gulches. In one of them, though-a desiccated arroyo called Dead Man Draw-was a seventy-five-acre lake, fringed with life rings, boats, and barbecue grills. At the rate of twenty-one thousand gallons a minute, Jim Bridger was sucking water from the Green River, forty miles to the west. To cool an even drier power station, some hundreds of miles away in northeast Wyoming, a proposal had been made zakelijke energie vergelijken to pump Green River water over the Continental Divide to the Sweetwater River, which runs into the North Platte, from which the water would be pumped over a lesser divide and into the Powder River Basin.

Mountain range

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In order to know the anatomy of each mountain range, you have to know details of sedimentary history. To know the details of sedimentary history, you have to know stratigraphy. I didn’t know until recently that stratigraphy is dead. Many schools don’t teach it anymore. To me, that’s writing the story without knowing the alphabet. The geologic literature is a graveyard of skeletons who worked the structure of mountain ranges without knowing the stratigraphy. In Jackson Hole in the late Miocene, you had a lake that collected six thousand feet of sediment, half of which was limestone that was chemically precipitated. There had to be a source. It came from broad exposures of Madison limestone in the ancestral Teton-Gros Ventre uplift, chemically dissolved and then precipitated with cool-climate fossils. Therefore, that lake lay under a cool, humid climate. First, a basin had to be created in which tl1e material was deposited-a basin ultimately thirteen thousand feet deep to accommodate all the zakelijke energie vergelijken lake and river sediments we find there, which puts it two miles below sea level at a time when the region is supposedly uplifting. All this is basic to structure, and the structure is basic to tectonics. The Owl Creek Mountains and the Uinta Mountains trend east-west. Why? Why are their axes ninety degrees from what you would expect if the tectonic force came from the west? You can do a torsion experiment with a rubber sheet and get folds in various directions-you can get east-west uplifts in the rubber sheet-but I would not say that is conclusive. You have mountains foundering. You have thrusting in the Laramide and sinking forty to fifty million years later, causing parts of basins to tilt this way and that like broken pieces of piecrust. The Granite Mountains were once as high as the Wind Rivers. Why did they go down? How did zakelijke energie they go down? I don’t think we’re ready yet to put together a real megapicture. The i985 geologic map of Wyoming consists of eightyfive-per-cent new mapping since i955. The amount remapped shows how much new information was acquired in thirty years. The Big Picture is not static. It will always include new ideas, new tectonics, new stratigraphy. This information is an essential part of the megathinking of the plate-tectonics people, and twenty-five, fifty, a hundred years from now it will be very different.”

A geology student

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In Laramie in i934, David had met a geology student from Bryn Mawr College who had come west to spend a couple of semesters at the University of Wyoming under an arrangement that he would ever after refer to as her junior year abroad. Her father, in granting her permission to go to Wyoming, had commented that everyone has a right-at least once in a lifetime-to run away to sea. Her name was Jane Matteson, and she had grown up in the quiet streets and private educational enclaves of Providence, Rhode Island. She had twice the sophistication of this ranch hand, notwithstanding the fact that she wrote “crick” in her early field notes, believing that western geologists had taught her a new term. Moreover, she considered him “too good-looking.” (Had he ever been inclined to, he could have answered the complaint in kind.) He appealed to her, though-in part because he kept his distance. She liked her cowboys unaggressive, and this one (at the time) was so shy-so reserved and respectful-that he stayed on his own side of his little Ford coupe. Her philosophy of conjugal evolution was contained in the phrase “A kiss is a promise,” and for the time being there were no promises. He took her to the top of tlie Laramie Range, and up zakelijke energie vergelijken there on the pink granite under the luminous constellations gave her some gallant, if cryptic, advice. He said, “Whatever you do, don’t come up here to look at the stars with a geologist.”
When a letter arrived containing his acceptance at Yale, they went over the mountains to celebrate in Cheyenne. On the return trip, on old U.S. 30, they were met at the gangplank by a spring storm, and they worried that they would be snowed in for the night, with resulting damage to their reputations. Forging on through the blizzard, they made it to Laramie. After Jane finished Bryn Mawr, she did graduate work at Smith, returning to Wyoming for the summer field work in the Black Hills and the zakelijke energie Bighorn Mountains which led to her master’s thesis on Pennsylvanian-Permian rock More apart than together while he completed his work at Yale, they exchanged long and frequent letters, which was her idea of a way for two people to get to know each other well and review their approaches to life. (When she was telling me this, not long ago, she added, with a bit of gemflash in her dark eyes, “I suppose that’s why young people live together now-instead of writing letters.”)

Intellectual curiosity

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They did spelling beside the ironing board, or while I kneaded bread; they gave the tables up to 15 times 15 to the treadle of the sewing machine. Mental problems, printed in figures on large cards, they solved while they raced across the …r oom to write the answers …a nd learned to think on their feet. Nine written problems done correctly, without help, meant no tenth problem ….I t was surprising in how little time they finished their work-to watch the butchering, to help drive the bawling calves zakelijke energie into the weaning pen, or to get to the corral, when they heard the hoofbeats of running horses and the cries of cowboys crossing the creek.
No amount of intellectual curiosity or academic discipline was ever going to hold a boy’s attention if someone came in saying that the milk cow was mired in a bog hole or that old George was out by the wild-horse corral with the biggest coyote ever killed in the region, or if the door opened and, as David recalls an all too typical event, “they were carrying in a cowboy with guts ripped out by a saddle horn.” The lessons stopped, the treadle stopped, and she sewed up the cowboy. Across a short span of time, she had come a long way with these bunkhouse buckaroos. In her early years on the ranch, she had a lesser sense of fitting in than she would have had had she been a mare, a cow, or a ewe. She did not see another woman for as much as six months at a stretch, and if she happened to approach a group of working ranch hands they would loudly call out, “Church time!” She found “the sudden silence …a ppalling.” Women were so rare in the country that when she lost a glove on the open range, at least twenty miles from home, a zakelijke energie vergelijken stranger who found it learned easily whose it must be and rode to the ranch to return it. Men did the housekeeping and the cooking, and went off to buy provisions at distant markets. Meals prepared in the bunkhouse were carried to a sheep wagon, where she and John lived while the big house was being built and otherwise assembled. The Wyoming sheep wagon was the ancestral Winnebago. It had a spring bed and a kitchenette.

Mountains

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Mountains that were completely covered -lost to view somewhere below the water-laid sediments and deep volcanic sand-outnumbered the mountains that barely showed through. At its maximum, the broad planar surface occupied nearly all of Wyoming-upward of ninety per cent-and on it meandered slow streams, making huge bends and oxbows. As events were about to prove, the deposition would rise no higher. This-in the late Miocene-was the level of maximum fill. For something began to elevate the region-the whole terrane, the complete interred family of underthrust, upthrust, overthrust mountains-to lift them swiftly about a mile. “The uplift was: not absolutely zakelijke energie vergelijken uniform everywhere,” Love said. “But nothing evefi is.” What produced this so-called epeirogeny is a subject of vigorous and sometimes virulent argument, but the result, continuing to this day, is as indisputable as it has been dramatic. It is known in geology as the Exhumation of the Rockies. From around and over the Wyoming ranges alone, about fifty thousand cubic miles have been dug out and taken away, not to mention comparable excavations in the neighboring cordillera. Though the process has been going on for ten million years, it is believed to have been particularly energetic in the past million and a half, in part because of the amount of rain that fell on the peripheries of continental ice. In response to the uplift, the easygoing streams that had aimlessly wandered the Miocene plain began to straighten, rush, and cut, moving their boulders and gravels in the way that chain saws move their teeth. The zakelijke energie streams lay in patterns that had no relationship to the Eocene topography buried far below. Some of them, rushing along through what is now the Wyoming sky, happened to cross the crests of buried ranges. After they worked their way down to the ranges, they sawed through them. Some effects were even odder than that.

Connecting the boulders

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Meanwhile, anyone connecting the boulders to their source bedrock might wonder how they had made their way uphill. The big boulders were granite, and smaller ones among them-recognized by no one then-were jade: float boulders of gem jade, nephrite jade (green as emerald), rounded in streambeds and polished by weather. As she watched them in the moonlight from the stage, they must have seemed just rubble on the ground. There was uranium in Crooks Gap in great quantity-in pods and lenses for a thousand feet up either side. It would be discovered in i955. There was petroleum under Crooks Gap, too. The year of discove1y would be i925. Crooks Creek flowed through Crooks Gap-straight through the highlands, from one side to the kantoor per uur utrecht other. Above the gap was Crooks Mountain. Miss Waxham might well have wondered who the eponymous crook was. The possibilities in that country were bewilderingly numerous, but the honor belonged to Brigadier General George Crook, West Point ’52, known among the Indians as the Gray Fox. General Crook, commander of the Department of the Platte, was at least a century ahead of his time in the integrity with which he dealt with aboriginal people, and deserved having his name writ in land if for no other reason than his reply when someone asked him if the campaigns of the Indian wars were difficult work. He said, “Yes, they are hard. But the hardest thing is to go out and fight against those who you know are in the right.”
I watched for hours the shadow of kantoor per uur rotterdam the suitcase handle against the canvas to see the moon’s change of position. The hours dragged by, and the cold grew worse ….B etween three and four we reached Myersville.
They had come to the Sweetwater River, which they forded, with still another driver, who had a remarkably delicate cast of tongue. “Oh, good gracious!” he shouted at the team.
The driver had been on the road only once, did not know his horses, and had no whip. The Hog Back was ahead ….T here was no more sleep for us then, not an eye wink.

Applause for Darwin

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Applause for Darwin was even sparer from scientists across the Channel, with the notable exception of the Belgian geologist J. J. d’Omalius d’Halloy, who, as it happened, had subscribed from the beginning to Louis Agassiz’ s glacial theory as well, and whose Terrain Cretace was the discovery ground for the worldwide Cretaceous system. In the United States, by contrast with Europe, geologists, biologists-the scientific community at large-were for the most part quick supporters and early participants in the sweep of evolution. In the United States, also, there was a notable exception. He was Professor Louis Agassiz, of Harvard University. He had crossed the Atlantic and given a few lectures. He stayed for the rest of his life. He became, as he has remained, one of the most celebrated professors in the history of American education. It was a renown that rested largely on his amazing and infectious capacity for talking about ice. Never mind that he could not speak schoolroom English. His words drew pictures of glaciers in motion, many thousands of feet thick and larger by far than the Sahara. His words drew pictures of glacier ice over Boston, in the act of depositing Cape Cod; of glacier ice over Bridgeport, in the act of depositing Long Island; of ice retreating from Concord, leaving Walden Pond. Harvard was, at core, a drumlin, a glacial coprolite, packed in recessional outwash. America excited Agassiz, as well it might, for it had held the greater co-working space utrecht part of the ice he had dreamed of, covering the world. He went to Lake Superior and paddled its shoreline in a bark canoe. The features he saw there he had known in N euchatel. He went to the Hudson Highlands and remembered the highlands of the Rhine. ”The erratic phenomena and the traces of glaciers . . . everywhere cover the surface of the country,” he wrote. “Polished rocks, as distinct as possible; moraines continuous over large spaces; stratified drift, as on the borders of the glacier of Grindelwald.” He went to the Connecticut Valley: “The co-working space rotterdam erratic phenomena are also very marked in this region; polished rocks everywhere, magnificent furrows on the sandstone and on the basalt, and parallel moraines defining themselves like ramparts upon the plain ….W hat a country is this! All along the road between Boston and Springfield are ancient moraines and polished rocks.

Limestone Run

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“Then I’m wrong, aren’t I? They pay me to do the best I can. Geologists are detectives. You work with what you have.” She swung full force with her sledgehammer. The stone did not crack. “This profession is very physical,” she complained, and belted the outcrop again. Her knees sometimes turn black-and-blue when she carries samples down from mountains. She once handed a suitcase to a Greyhound bus driver who said, “What have you got in here, baby -rocks?” She was content to have them ride in the baggage compartment. A geologist I know in California would be unnerved by that. When he travels home from far parts of the world, he buys two airline seats-one for himself and one for his rocks. We passed Limestoneville. We crossed co-working space eindhoven Limestone Run and the West Branch of the Susquehanna, and now the road was running in a deep crease, a V with sides of about twelve hundred vertical feet: White Deer Ridge and Nittany Mountain-quartzites of early Silurian age, shed west from the Taconic Orogeny. There were quartzite boulders all through the steep woods but a notable absence of outcrops, of roadcuts, of exposures of any kind. In fact, with the exception of the limestones she had collected, we were not seeing much rock to write home about, and Anita was becoming impatient. “No wonder I never did geology in this part of Pennsylvania,” she said. “There are no exposures-just colluvium lying in the woods.” Multiple ridges were squeezed in close here. Characteristically, the interstate would yield to the country, to the southwestward sweep of the co-working space amsterdam corrugated mountains, as it ran in a valley under a flanking ridge, biding its time for a gap. One would soon appear-not a national landmark with a history of landscape painters and lovestruck Indians, but a water gap, nonetheless-sliced clean through the ridge. Like a fullback finding a hole in the line, the road would cut right and go through. On the far side, it would break into the clear again, veering southwestward in another valley, gradually moving over toward the next long ridge. There would be another gap. Small streams had cut countless gaps. All within twenty miles of one another, for example, were Bear Gap in Buffalo Mountain, Green Gap in Nittany Mountain, Fryingpan Gap in Naked Mountain, Fourth Gap in White Deer Ridge, Third Gap, Second Gap, First Gap, Schwenks Gap, Spruce Gap, Stony Gap, Lyman Gap, Black Gap, McMurrin Gap, Frederick Gap, Bull Run Gap, and Glen Cabin Gap-among others.

A powerful creation

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“Upon the life and movement of a powerful creation fell the silence of death. Springs paused, rivers ceased to flow, the rays of the sun, rising upon this frozen shore (if, indeed, it was reached by them), were met only by the breath of the winter from the north and the thunders of the crevasses as they opened across the surface of this icy sea.” The reception all this got continued to be colder than the ice. Von Buch, author of the first geological map of Germany and already celebrated for his studies of volcanism, did not conceal his indignation. In fact, he had apparently removed Agassiz’s name from consideration for a professorial chair at the University of Berlin. Sir Roderick Murchison, the co-working space utrecht Scottish geologist who had identified and named the Silurian system, warned that he was prepared to “make fight.” Addressing the Geological Society of London, he said, “Once grant to Agassiz that his deepest valleys of Switzerland, such as the enormous Lake of Geneva, were formerly filled with snow and ice, and I see no stopping place. From that hypothesis you may proceed to fill the Baltic and the northern seas, cover southern England and half of Germany and Russia with similar icy sheets, on the surfaces of which all the northern boulders might have been shot off. So long as the greater number of the practical geologists of Europe are opposed to the wide extension of a terrestrial glacial theory, there can be little risk that such a doctrine should take too deep a hold of the mind.” Whatever the cause, the effects Agassiz was studying impressed von Humboldt as purely local phenomena. Agassiz’s “descente aux enfers” -into the innards of the glacier-alarmed his friend as a physical risk commensurate co-working space rotterdam with the risk Agassiz was taking with his paleontological reputation. Von Humboldt wrote to say that he had now “read and compared all that has been w1itten for and against the ice-period” and that he was no closer to accepting the theory. He quoted Mme de Sevigne’s saying that “grace from on high comes slowly.” And added, “I especially desire it for the glacial period.”

Erosional vacuity

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The car hit an erosional vacuity that almost threw it off the road. Geology versus the State of Pennsylvania. Geology wins. In eastern weather, the life expectancy of an interstate is twenty years. Mile after mile, I-80 had been heaved, split, dissolved, and cratered. A
fair amount of limestone is incorporated in the road surface in Pennsylvania. Limestone is soluble in distilled water, let alone in acid rain. “Acid rains eat the surface, then water goes in and freezes, thaws, freezes again, and fractures the hell out of the road,” Anita said, easing down toward minimum speed. “That, of course, is exactly how water works on bedrock. But an interstate can’t be compared to bedrock. An conference room utrecht interstate has no soil protecting it. And it’s mostly carbonate. It’s not very resistant stuff.” We were sixty miles into Pennsylvania and had descended from the Pocono Plateau, generally running backward through time and down through the detritus of two great ranges of mountains. Now the country was familiar-valley, ridge, valley, ridge. We were again in the deformed Appalachians. While the Delaware Water Gap had been a part of the main trunk of the foldbelt, this was an offshoot that curled around the western Poconos-a broad cul-de-sac whose long ropy ridges ended like fingers, gesturing in the direction of New York State. It was rhythmic terrain, predictable and beautiful, the quartzite ridges and carbonate valleys of the folded-and-faulted mountains, trending conference room rotterdam southwest, while the interstate negotiated with them for its passage toward Chicago. Looked at in continental scale on a physiographic map or a geologic map-on almost any map that doesn’t obscure the countiy with exaggerated human improvements-the sinuosity of the deformed Appalachians is as consistent as the bendings of a moving serpent. In Alabama, the mountains come up from under the Gulf Coastal Plain and bend right into Georgia and then left into Tennessee and right into North Carolina and left in the Virginias and right in Pennsylvania and left in New Jersey and New York and right in Quebec and New Brunswick and left in Newfoundland.