Monday, April 2, 2007

Whidbey I. WA, Beach Geology Fight Song

(to the cadence of Sullivan’s “A Modern Major General”)
A Fight Song

We trod the beaches of the land, with footprints so magnificent,
We take good care and prudence, since we’re seemingly significant;
We are geological, with thoughts so ecological-
We solve the island’s many myths, with motives almost nearly always logical.

We step o’er rock and fragile stone, with boundless love resilient,
Our thoughts, forever prime, are always bordering on the brilliant-
We zig and zag, it’s in the bag, the secrets of a stratigraphic crag,
Our yards are always full of Nature’s bounteous anticlinal swag.


We look at cave and cliff, for clues that often are mysterious,
We form our explanations, which then sometimes are delirious;
We’re ever right, with thoughts so bright, the clays we test with subtle bite,
The Mastodons we lately seek are almost always out of sight.

We sniff the waters of the seeps, which are mostly full of Carbonate,
We draw straight lines on maps, over which we then can fulminate-
We look not for the animal, not vegetable but mineral,
We seek to find the local sense of Earthy Science-in-General.

We find the island’s many faults are certainly near left-lateral
The moraines make Points, but Heads (Tombolos) are quaintly mostly platter-al,
We are Geological, with thoughts so ecological-
We solve the islands many myths, with motives almost nearly always logical.

Our rare scientific group is most certainly gregarious;
With the exception of a stately few, they are hardly e’er nefarious-
They most certainly show attentiveness, to the total group’s inventiveness
They never forget a single clue, keeping a constant retentiveness.

We’re constantly amused almost, by the manly interaction,
Of the way they stand their post, while their stomachs are in traction-
While some will look at cuttle fish, rarely they’re rebuttal-ish,
They follow simply to a man, the leader’s every whim and wish.

They never waste a word or deed, showing ultimate economy;
They incorporate all useful fields, even invertebrate Taxonomy-
They map all Points, align all Joints,
Whenever it is possible, they listen to whomever USGS anoints.

We march out in the sand-filled fields, with ultimate sobriety;
Then we announce our final facts, with such tremendous notoriety;
We use all of our abilities, with promising agilities
Before there is a final loss of all of our facilities.

We incorporate all our pulchritude, remaining ever all aghast;
With completely serious rectitude, we follow an iconoclast!
We are Geological, with thoughts so ecological-
We solve the islands many myths, with motives nearly always almost logical.

Harold L. Overton

Previous April Firsts

April 1 Hike to Hackberry Miocene Volcano, AZ (near Camp Verde-T1S R1E)

I was standing on the rim of the Hackberry caldera, invoking the God Xetrov, when I realized that my right Gortex boot was vibrating with a strange rhythm. I could feel the emanations even up to my spinal cord- there was something eerie issuing from the bowels of the Earth!
I had just found that by making electrical resistivity measurements to a great depth, the earth could make communications with the Muse of my spirit Euterpe. This was by way of pulsating DC current, which I had impressed on the extrusive rocks- which had made their way all the way from the Virgin Mantle some 100's of kilometers below my tenuous location on the caldera rim.
Gingerly I trod the sharp-edged crater lip, realizing that one false move and I would have to call for the God of the Labyrinth- Ztrauq. I hesitated to invoke this particularly Deity, since this would be the ultimate test of my essence- Ztrauq only empathized with earth scientists of True Spirit, those who have been tested with the radioactive emanations and reductive brines of the deeper layers of the stratigraphic columns as far down in the earth's crust as man had made contact. Only those who have been divested of all of the materialistic urges and passion manifestations need make supplications to Ztrauq! Of course at my age, all of these false spiritual machinations had long ago been cleansed and my body was now Whole- stripped of these puny inclinations of the flesh.
I had just been informed by way of the Information Superhighway (see the website link for 0-5 million year vulcanism in the Western US, in links), that my perceptions had been too limited- one must look further than mere centers of labyrinth and female vortices- one must view the earth from a standpoint much larger than a cross-section of fractures and descending crotches; one must LOOK BIGGER. No longer can one think small, the earth is larger than my Colorado Plateau in its outlook. One must think of the crust as a mosaic of GRIDS. The Spirit is manifesting itself along many linears. And when one happens upon the intersection of several emanations, one has the POWER (May the FORCE be with you!) to truly understand.
Consequently, my stance on the rim of the gigantic expression of SPIRIT- the AURA surrounding the Caldera Hackberry- was tugging at my Gortex boot with a not-so-subtle suggestion; I was being directed by the God of the Underworld- that musical mantra-ejecting body far below: ELTNAM!
Being a true Scientist, Ι rapidly shifted my philosophical viewpoint to that of the Spiritualist- I must listen to the MUSINGS of the mantra of the earth. I shook my right foot, to ascertain whether the vibrations of my right foot were more than ephemeral. The Gortex remained unchanged, proving that forevermore I must encourage my foot to remain out of the bowels of thought, and to soar loftily- above the mere Winds of my immediate destiny- up to the Sulfurous Airs of the Eternal Shrouds.. Harold L. Overton April 1, 2004

Other Inuksuk, from Inuit, Canada

Inukshuk #400
Kearney Lake

Inuksuk (18 Sep 04)
From Rock and Landscape. we oft' find
The soul and Touchstone of Mankind;
The hurried traveler may pass by,
But those with spirit feel the Why

Of Life's Emotions kept so deep-
Which from facial features rarely creep-
But nontheless they guide the Mind
In outward actions, raw and blind,

Which may not be confused as true
By those proceeding, who imbue
In casual onlookers thoughts so bland,
They never grasp the Vital strand;

But what I feel most likely missed
Is the touch of Woman, deeply kissed,
Who reaches out to embrace the Man
To seal Life's Purpose- if she can.
Harold L. Overton

Inuksuk (Inuit Icon)

INUKSHUK- Man (rock) like

Its stony countenance made me wince,
As its penetration of my psyche (with its hints)
Reminds me it’ll supercede me many years.

Throughout the ages, many men
Realized the longevity, above the din,
Of Rock and Petros- which rolled forward all their fears.

Muscle, Grit, and artist’s Care
Performed their tasks (co-ops now rare)
Leaving legacies for all the mortals which will come.

“Like a Rock” its sometimes said,
Of man and institutions long since dead,
Indicating temporary artificialities which soothe some.

Tashkent, Rockville, Petra, and many more
Show the Reverence- indeed the Core-
Which we place on icons, in Emotions we imprint.

If stony Silence were just Real,
Iconoclasts would find it easier to peel
The false gods and taxing images which we vent;

Then we’d serve not hidden Man
But Truth and Spirit- devoid of plan-
Which thrusted leaders’ subterfuges subvert as Core.

We might discover Stone-age mate and wife
Longed for Spirit- Laughter, Love, and Life-
Often missing in our quest for material store.
Harold L. Overton (Sept. 29, 04)

Owed to Dr. Beus

Owed to Dr.Stanley B: Geology Professor, NAU)

We’ve Been Walking Up the Mesas

(Sung to the tune of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”)

We’ve been walking up the mesas
All the live-long day.
We’ve been traveling down the synclines
Just to pass this course some way.
Don’t you see the strata bending,
Sometimes up then down;
Faults and fissures slickenside-ing
All the way to town?

We’ve seen molten rock and cinders,
Spires, laccoliths and swells,
Canyon depths, high-peaked mountains,
And trails through Paleo SeasHells!
Sandstone walls (desert-varnished)
Ripple marks everywhere-
Unconformities and sand dunes
Strike and dip out there.

We’ve been picking up some fossils
All along the way
(Bits and chunks of ancient varmints),
To fill our bags today.
Trilobites, brachs and crinoids,
Dinosaurs and sponges too-
Keeping track of all the phyla
Creates a busy crew.

We enjoyed our little bus ride
All around the West.
Busy work on all our field notes
May not have been our best;
Stratigraphic columns kept us busy
As you well can see.
Dr. Beus, you old slave driver,

Composed and originally performed by
C. P. Webster-Scholten and The Rock Strata Quintet
Geology 626, July 1980

Didactic Disclaimers

Geological Gadflies and Didactic Disclaimers

As a prelude to the annual report for Earth Science Hikers on the edge of the Colorado Plateau, I should mention that the principal author (ME) is an engineer, with Earth Science training and teaching in three universities. Since I studied Geology only as an appendage, I am not very much influenced by the Geologic Method- which is to classify everything and place it in a niche which may be compared to everything else in the Universe. Seeing very little understanding (of the processes that proceed in the Earth) derived from using this procedure, I try to read as little as possible in the literature in advance, so that I am not influenced significantly. However, after reaching conclusions in the field, I read some of the published work, so that I eliminate the possibility that something of importance might have been overlooked. After all, this is a field where the most important theory for Oil Geologists- the geosynclinal theory- was subdivided into many categories (Euo, Mio, etc) for years before the realization that the theory was deceiving operational geologists, and later discarded (Dead as a Dodo bird, as they say). Further, I recall one of the two Nobel winners (in categories other than Geology, which has no standing- and a true profession should have physical under-pinnings beneath it, that is to say understanding), the recipient went on to assert that the Moon had been expelled to form the Pacific Ocean. These examples led me to watch the accuracy of exploration geologists and to determine that the success was somewhat random.
My method is to measure entities on the earth’s surface (and subsurface wherever possible), to determine geological anomalies- which are departures from the normal observed in the area of interest. The anomalies tell a story different to that derived from mere classification. This pertains to dynamics, and can be gotten from the usual strike, dip, orientations of fractures, faults and structures, analysis of water and its contents, geophysical parameters (such as resistivity and Potentials in the earth), temperatures, mineralogical changes, magnetics and others easily measured with portable field equipment. These have to do with things that move three-dimensionally in the Earth, as distinct from stationary entities, which may be more easily classified than understood.
Fortunately, geophysics has entered the mosaic, and a unified theory has now been articulated by other Earth Scientists- that is to say Plate Tectonics and its subordinates such as Petrophysics, Geothermal Appraisals, Formation Evaluation, and Geochemistry. HLO