Thursday, February 27, 2014

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Here are a couple of photos clipped from magazine articles that I used in teaching my geology classes before we had the internet.

Granite spires in Torres del Paine National Park, southern Chile. The photo was likely originally from the National Geographic.

Another shot of the spectacular scenery of Torres del Paine National Park, Chile from the same article. You can more great photos of this spectacular area on the National Geographic website here.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Brazil in the year 2000 at International Geological Congress

In 2000, I traveled to Rio de Janeiro to attend the International Geological Congress and took my daughter Leanna and nephew Ryan along. We had a great time in the beautiful country of Brazil and took a couple of field trips out into the mining districts near Rio.

Beautiful Rio on a cloudy day.

It was a bit windy the day we went up to see the view over Rio.

Garnet-cordierite gneiss outcrops near Rio.

Folded gneiss in outcrops near Rio.

Another view of Rio.

Alexandrite gem mine.

The day's haul of alexandrite from the mine.

Amazonite and tourmaline in pegmatite mine.

Geologists at the amazonite pegmatite mine.

Fractured aquamarine crystals up to 2 feet in diameter and several feet long in a pegmatite mine.

Our field trip bus stuck in a ditch in the road.

Leanna and Ryan waiting to descend into the emerald mine.

Our bus arrives at one of the emerald diggings where locals hock their gems to the visiting tourists.

Topaz crystals (orange) on conveyor belt sorted out of the gravels at the mine.

The scenic city of Ouro Preto, Brazil, an old mining town that now is a tourist destination and university town.

Another view of Ouro Preto.

Cobblestone streets in Ouro Preto.

Church in Ouro Preto.

Leanna at the soapstone market in Ouro Preto.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tunisia in 1976

In the spring of 1976, I worked as a field assistant and interpreter (most of the people spoke some French) for Dr. J. Keith Rigby, Sr. in Tunisia. Keith was studying Permian biohermal reefs that outcropped in the mountains near the city of Medenine, but we had the opportunity to travel to a number of places in the country. The scenery was spectacular and the people were warm and friendly, always wanting to stop and visit with the odd Americans tromping around in the desert.

The village of Chenini built into the side of the hill.

Here I am with a group of children. They seemed to pop up out of nowhere. I could usually find a coin or piece of candy for them.

Taking the ferry across the Mediterranean to the Isle of Djerba, a popular tourist stop with spectacular white sand beaches.

A handsome young Tunisian boy; one of my many young friends while in the field. He is standing behind a block of sandstone that has Triassic vertebrate tracks all over it.

The open market in Medenine where you could find almost anything for sale.

A young mother at her home in Matmata, Tunisia, a town cut out of the loess deposits where the homes are carved down into the earth. After carving out a home in the loess, they would typically whitewash the walls.

The Roman coliseum at El Jem at sunset.

Detail of the coliseum arches at El Jem.

The Roman ruins at Karouan, Tunisia.

The town of Metameur, Tunisia.

Baskets of olives curing on a rooftop in the Djebel Tebaga hills west of Medenine, Tunisia.

Roman temple ruins at Gightes, Tunisia. While in the hills west of Medenine, we found old Roman quarries with marble columns partially formed, but still in the rock like the one seen below.

Partially formed column still in the old Roman quarry in the Djebel Tebaga.

The hills of Djebel Tebaga where we conducted our studies. The massive rock in the middle of this photo is a small fossil reef, called a bioherm, made up mostly of fossilized sponges. I am standing on a layer of sandstone that laps up onto the fossil reef.

Me climbing out of our field vehicle. The little Renaut got us around very well on the less than ideal roads of the Tunisian countryside.

Trace fossils on a sandstone from the Djebel Tebaga hills.

Photo of me on the outcrop in the Djebel Tebaga, wearing my Camp Loll, BSA T-shirt and probably pretending to know what I was looking at.

My mentor and friend, Keith Rigby, not in Tunisia, but sitting on the lawn at a home in Gunlock, Utah where we were running the BYU field camp one season.