Rafting the Owyhee River—Oregon’s Grand Canyon

On April 10–14, we rafted the Lower Owyhee River in easternmost Oregon with Ouzel Outfitters (https://www.oregonrafting.com/owyhee-river). Because this part of the river is not dammed, and the climate is arid, there is only enough flow for rafting during the earliest part of the season. The droughts of the past few years meant that most trips were cancelled, as ours was...
Read More about Rafting the Owyhee River—Oregon’s Grand Canyon

Catedral de Sal—underground church in an active salt mine

My last post presented evidence that Colombia's Eastern Cordillera was covered by a shallow sea during the Cretaceous Period: https://landscapes-revealed.net/marine-fossils-in-colombias-eastern-cordillera/. This post presents more evidence for an oceanic setting—thick salt layers that were deposited in a shallow sea where high rates of evaporation caused water to evaporate and salt crystals to build up many layers over time. Zipaquirá salt mine...
Read More about Catedral de Sal—underground church in an active salt mine

Marine fossils in Colombia’s Eastern Cordillera

Our Colombian trip ended in Bogotá, in the Eastern Cordillera. The active volcanoes associated with the offshore subduction zone are farther west, in the Central Cordillera. For maps of the plate tectonic setting, see my first Colombian post: https://landscapes-revealed.net/bienvenidos-a-colombia-welcome-to-the-northwest-corner-of-south-america. The landward position of the Eastern Cordillera, east of the active volcanoes, is a region geologists refer to as the back-arc—that...
Read More about Marine fossils in Colombia’s Eastern Cordillera

Trekking to Ciudad Perdida—the “lost city” of Teyuna

My last post about Colombia focused on the north-coast city of Santa Marta and adjacent Sierra Nevada: https://landscapes-revealed.net/sierra-nevada-de-santa-marta-earths-highest-coastal-mountain/. Our principal goal there was a four-day trek to Ciudad Perdida, known as Teyuna by the indigenous people. We completed an additional three-day trek in the Sierra Nevada to further explore this amazing mountainous region with its indigenous villages and rural farms....
Read More about Trekking to Ciudad Perdida—the “lost city” of Teyuna

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta: Earth’s highest coastal mountain

My friend Maria met me in Medellín, and from there we flew north to Santa Marta, located on the Caribbean coast. Santa Marta was founded in 1525, and is the oldest surviving Spanish settlement in Colombia. Prior to the Spanish conquest, the native Tayrona people had lived in the region for thousands of years. In a story common throughout the...
Read More about Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta: Earth’s highest coastal mountain

Medellín: Colombian city with a notorious history

Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia with about 4 million people. It is situated at 1,500 m (4900 ft) elevation, which in equatorial latitudes (it's at 6°N) is the altitude for an ”eternal spring” climate. Not too hot, not too cold—it's just right! My first post explained the tectonic setting of Columbia: https://landscapes-revealed.net/bienvenidos-a-colombia-welcome-to-the-northwest-corner-of-south-america/. In this post, I'll focus...
Read More about Medellín: Colombian city with a notorious history

Bienvenidos a Colombia: welcome to the northwest corner of South America

In my continuing quest to learn more about South America’s geology, culture and history, I traveled for a month (mid February–mid March) in Colombia, located in the northwestern corner of South America. Colombia is at the northern end of the Andes, the longest mountain range on our planet. It is the only South American country with coasts on both the...
Read More about Bienvenidos a Colombia: welcome to the northwest corner of South America

Why are the Dolomite mountains so tall?

My first post about the Italian Dolomites described how the carbonate platforms formed from the hard parts of organisms living in shallow parts of a warm, tropical ocean (https://landscapes-revealed.net/trekking-through-an-ancient-sea-in-the-italian-dolomites/). The second post described other rock types in the Dolomites, namely igneous rocks and sedimentary rocks transported to the ocean from land (https://landscapes-revealed.net/not-all-of-the-rocks-in-the-italian-dolomites-are-dolomite/). Although created near sea level, the highest peaks...
Read More about Why are the Dolomite mountains so tall?

Not all of the rocks in the Italian Dolomites are dolomite

As explained in my last post (https://landscapes-revealed.net/trekking-through-an-ancient-sea-in-the-italian-dolomites/), the Dolomites were named after a French geologist, whose name was also given to the dolomite mineral. Indeed, the spectacular white peaks of dolomite are what catches the eye when in the Dolomite mountains. But there are other rock types with clues to the geologic history of the region, notably thick sequences of...
Read More about Not all of the rocks in the Italian Dolomites are dolomite

Trekking through an ancient sea in the Italian Dolomites

The main purpose of our August–September trip to Italy was to explore the much-lauded Dolomite Mountains, located in northeastern Italy (Trentino-Alto Adige province) just a few hours north of Venice. The gleaming steep-sloped white mountain blocks separated by verdant valleys were just as spectacular as we had been led to believe! This view is northeastward from Piz Boe (see 3-D...
Read More about Trekking through an ancient sea in the Italian Dolomites

Rock art in Ravenna, Italy

In August, on our way back north from Gubbio, we stopped at Ravenna, a small city famous for its 5–6th century Byzantine mosaics. Ravenna is just 2 hours south of Venice and is well worth a 2–3 day visit. The purpose of this post is two-fold. (1) To introduce readers to a place with incredible interior art work mostly made...
Read More about Rock art in Ravenna, Italy

Discovering what killed the dinosaurs in Gubbio, Italy

Our 4-week trip to Italy in August and September was mainly focused on trekking in the Dolomite Mountains—those posts to come later! During the planning process, I realized the town of Gubbio is located just 4.5 hours south of Venice, where we were flying in and out of. We had to go there! A rock outcrop just east of Gubbio...
Read More about Discovering what killed the dinosaurs in Gubbio, Italy

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.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Categories

Archives