Thursday 27 October 2011

Visible Geology: a visualisation tool

Rowan Cockett's Visible Geology is an interactive tool for visualising geological structures, ideal for teaching and also for self-study. Visible Geology is highly interactive and web-based, so the only thing you need for using it is a HTML5 compatible browser (basically, not IE). I am really impressed by this simple but complete application. 

In Visible Geology you can create block diagrams for illustrating bedding, faulting, folding and intrusions (dykes).You can keep this blocks as a simple cube, or what is really nice, is that you can modify the topography. You can model top surface of the cube with a couple of easy options, drawing contour lines or selecting predefined patterns (like valleys, slopes, mountain tops, etc.).

But it doesn't end there. Once you are happy with your model, you can even do cross-sections!

So, easy to use, quick (very quick), very nice results... I am just looking forward having the chance of using it for some report!

But surely the best thing is to start watching one of the available tutorials in video:

Visible Geology is in a beta status at the moment. I would suggest the following features for future versions:
- Capability for choosing bed thickness.
- Variable scale.
- Folding would improve several orders of magnitude if it would be possible to change basic parameters such as amplitude, wavelength, etc.

It is really a great program, and I am sure it will be soon widely used in education. Go to use it, go!

Thanks Rowan!

Friday 14 October 2011

Björk, Biophilia and plate tectonics

Did you ever imagine I would write about music here? No, of course not. And that was because Björk didn't compose before her new "Biophilia" album, a masterpiece of modern music that aims to mix music, technology and science. Actually, the album has been released as a traditional CD but also as an application for your smartphone. I will leave the review and explanation of the album to other people: CultureLab interview with Björk. (Yes! Bjork in "New Scientist"!).

So, why I write about "Biophilia" in this blog, afterall? Well, first, becuase I love this album and anything that comes out of Björk's mind, and second, because the 8th track of the album deals with... yes, plate tectonics! "Mutual Core" is the 9th track of the album. A song with absolutely explicit scientific lyrics, full of metaphors that we, geologists, will love ("As fast as your finger nails grow/the Atlantic ridge drifts","My Eurasian plate subsumed,/ Forming a mutual core"). I find it absolutely hypnoptic, beautiful and, why not, magnificient.

"Mutual Core"

I shuffle around the tectonic plates in my chest.

You know I gave it all,
Try to match our continents
To change seasonal shift,
To form a mutual core.

As fast as your fingernail grows,
The Atlantic ridge drifts
To counteract distance.

You know I gave it all,
Can you hear the effort of the magnetic strife?
Shuffling of columns
To form a mutual core.

This eruption undoes stagnation.
You didn't know i had it in me,
Withheld your love, an unspent capsule.
I didn't know you had it in you,
You hid the key to our continuity.
I didn't know you had it in you.
This eruption undoes stagnation.
You didn't know, you didn't know.

What you resist persists, nuance makes heat
To counteract distance
I know you gave it all,
Offered me harmony if things were done your way.
My Eurasian plate subsumed,
Forming a mutual core

This eruption undoes stagnation.
You didn't know I had it in me,
Withheld your love, an unspent capsule.
I didn't know you had it in you.
This eruption undoes stagnation
You didn't know i had it in me
This eruption undoes stagnation
You didn't know, you didn't know”

Sunday 2 October 2011

DRT2011 fieldtrips - Photoalbum

DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 1. Porma mélangeDRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 2. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 3. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 4. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 7. Porma mélange..DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 8. Porma mélange.
DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 5. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 10. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 9. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 6. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 12. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 13. Porma mélange.
DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 14. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 15. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 16. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 17. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 18. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 19. Porma mélange.
DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 20. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 21. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Preconference fieldtrip 22. Porma mélange.DRT2011 Post-conference fieldtrip 1. LuarcaDRT2011 Post-conference fieldtrip 2. LuarcaDRT2011 Post-conference fieldtrip 3. Luarca
DRT2011 fieldtrips, a set on Flickr.
A the end of August and beginning of September, I attended the DRT 2011 meeting in Oviedo. This meeting included two fieldtrips, and these are the pictures I took during this great days back home in NW Spain.

I hope you enjoy them. I will be completing slowly their description, but in the meantime, if you have any question about the pictures, just let me know here in this post and I will try to answer your doubts. 

There are nearly 150 pictures, so take it easy!