Tuesday 24 August 2010

GIS map interface of The Geological Society

As a membe of The Geological Society of London I use regularly the library map loan service. Any member can visit the GIS interface and search map in their area of interest. Then, email to the library and they will send by post the map.

There are many maps at many different scales from virtually everywhere. It is relatively fast (the time that takes to receive the maps with the mail), and if you can scan it, then you can georeference it in any GIS software (TNT, ArcGIS), or some geological software (Move, Kingdom Suite, etc).

In these days, we forget sometimes that there is a vast amount of data in printed shape in libraries and geological societies and clubs. This data is not available in many cases in a digital format, and most of people just ignore its existence.

But if you are managing a project, you want to get as much data as you can, cheap, and easy to use...

So don't forget to check the old paper maps for your next project!

Monday 23 August 2010

Paper models for structural geology

Monday, Monday...
Bored in the office?
Holidays with hyperactive kids that you would like to convert into geologists?
Want to decorate your desk with geeky paper models of faults, unconformities and other geometrical relationships that your geophysicist colleagues don't visualise?
Then, why not printing some of Martin Schöpfer's paper models and spend some times building them up?
Hours and hours of fun!

(More educational material here: http://www.fault-analysis-group.ucd.ie/ )

Friday 20 August 2010

BP spill won't trigger an earthquake

We all know that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is a natural and economical catastrophe. We have seen the images of the well leaking barrels and barrels of oil. Birds, fishes and turtles oil-covered all along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Many people have been now educated about how a well is drilled, how production has evolved in the last decades reaching deeper and deeper fields.

But, what happens when somebody mixes reality with fiction? Oh, then we get a growing trend of people believing that BP's oils spill may trigger an earthquake... as far as in the New Madrid Fault Zone!!!

I really find funny this part of the article:

"Could this "oil volcano" cause an earthquake along the New Madrid fault line that is so powerful that it could bring about "the end of the world as we know it" for those living in the area?"

Of course. The planet will colapse over itself, forming a new variety of a black hole. Black, because it will be full of oil.

But, what really disturbs me (not really), is not knowing if the following is a real comment, or just an ironic joke...:

"wells there's a good chance that the planet needed the oil where it was to lubricate the planets tectonic plates..... so yes. or any fault line idk.."

[/ironic mode=]So that was all the secret! We are extracting the oil that should be in fault planes, hence causing earthquakes!![/ironic mode=off]

Seriously, anyone not properly formed in geology may believe this rubbish. And I don't think it is the fault of the "street person", which may read that in a bad newspaper or an ill-informed blog. The problem is people writing this stuff. It appears constantly, every time that an earthquake happens somewhere. "We are damaging the Earth, it is paying us back now...", "This earthquake was caused by a tectonic weapon"...

Tectonic weapons... uhm, material for another article. Thanks, Tesla...