Andalusian follow-up

On the way back to the U.S., I began reading a book that pulls together most of the historical events explored during this trip. If you are interested in learning more about the Islamic period in southern Spain, you may wish to check out this book: Ornament of the world: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians created a culture of tolerance...

Fossils fossils everywhere (and Sintra update)

The previous post got "published" before it was finished, so this post is going out to announce the update of the prior post and to include some fossil photos. Everywhere you step or look in Lisbon there are fossils—interior floors and walls are often covered with fossiliferous limestone. This rock was quarried from a place where oysters were once very...

The fantasy world of Sintra

A short 40-minute train ride—going west from Lisbon—brings you to Sintra, a small town that feels a world away from the conjested streets of Lisbon. Like most scenically beautiful places, It all starts with the geology! In this case, a blob of granite (small pluton for you geologists) has created a high ridge that looms over the surrounding region, with...

Why are there earthquakes in Lisbon?

Lisbon is similar to San Francisco not only because of its position on the edge of an estuary and its Golden-Gate-like bridge. Another similarity is immediately obvious in the topography of the landscape—steep slopes and numerous hills separate distinctive neighborhoods and make the city feel larger than it is. Both cities have streetcars. Whereas San Francisco's streetcars stick to the...

Lisboa (Lisbon) by the sea

The landscape of Lisbon is largely defined by its seaside location. For centuries, even millennia, inhabitants have made their living on the sea—searching for their food and new lands to exploit. The city is situated next to the Rio Tejo (Tagus River), which is not a river at all, but an estuary where fresh water from the Tagus River interacts...

Join me for a trip to a place where cultures and tectonic plates have collided!

Welcome to the reawakening of this blog, which has been dormant for three years. I invite you to follow the blog and receive notifications of new posts via email during the next two months. The goal is to explore incredible landscapes and provide the reader with a taste of their beauty and geologic underpinnings. The Mediterranean Sea is the remnant...

About the Blogger

Karen (here with Mt. Shasta in background) is a geology professor emerita who aims to provide a "pocket geologist" for world travelers. Follow the blog to explore the landscapes of our planet and figure out what causes them to look the way they do.

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