In the Teton landscape

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In the Teton landscape are forms of motion that would not be apparent in a motion picture. Features of the valley are cryptic, paradoxical, and bizarre. In i983, divers went down into Jenny Lake, at the base of the Grand Teton, and reported a pair of Engelmann spruce, rooted in the lake bottom, standing upright, enclosed in eighty feet of water. Spread Creek, emerging from the Mt. Leidy Highlands, is called Spread Creek because it has two mouths, which is about as common among creeks as it is among human beings. They are three miles apart. Another tributary stream is lower than the master river. Called Fish Creek, it steals along the mountain base. Meanwhile, at elevations as much as fifteen feet higher-and with flood-control zakelijke energie vergelijken levees to keep the water from spilling sidewaysdown the middle of the valley flows the Snake. One year, with David Love, I made a field trip that included the Beartooth Mountains, the Yellowstone Plateau, the Hebgen earthquake zone of the Madison River, the Island Park Caldera, and parts of the Snake River Plain. Near the end of the journey, we came over Teton Pass and looked down into Jackson Hole. In a tone of sudden refreshment, he said, “Now, there is a place for a kid to cut his eyeteeth on dynamic geology.” Among others, he was referring to himself. He rode into the valley in the summer of ‘3+ Aged twenty-one, he set up a base camp, and went off to work in the mountains. There were a number of small lakes among the Tetons at altitudes up to ten thousand five hundred feet-Cirque Lake, Mink Lake, Grizzly Bear Lake, IceRoe Lake, Snowdrift Lake, Lake Solitude-and no one knew how deep they were or how much water they might contain. The Wyoming Geological Survey wanted to know, and had offered him a summer job and a collapsible boat. He climbed the Tetons, and rowed the lakes, like Thoreau sounding depths on Walden Pond. He likes to say that the first time he was ever seasick was above timberline. If the Teton peaks were like the Alps-a transplanted segment of the Pennine Alps-there was the huge difference that just up the road from the Pennine Alps there are no geyser basins, boiling springs, bubbling muds, or lavas that froze in human time. His base camp zakelijke energie was on Signal Mountain-by Teton standards, a hill-rising from the valley Boor a thousand feet above Jackson Lake. More than fifty summers later, one day on Signal Mountain he said, ‘When I was a pup, I used to come up here to get away from it all.”

The second homestead

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Muskrat Creek was . the second homestead on which John Love had filed in Wyoming. The first-thirty miles away-was in the Big Sand Draw, where the grass was inadequate, the snows were exceptionally deep, and the water was marginally potable. In i897, he collapsed his umbrella and moved. At Muskrat Creek, long before he bought the stagecoach towns, he lived in an earth dugout roofed with pine poles and clay. It was warm in winter, cool in summer, and danker than Scotland all year round. He was prepared to run risks. In Lander, sixty miles west, he made an extraordinary bet with a bank, whose assets included a number of thousands of sheep. John Love bet that he could take them for a summer and return them in the fall, fatter on the average by at least ten pounds. If he succeeded, he would be paid zakelijke energie vergelijken handsomely. If he failed, he would receive a scant wage. He was taking a chance on the weather, because a bad storm could wipe out the flock. By November, the sheep were as round as poker chips, ready to be cashed in. Leaving them in the care of a herder, he rode to Thermopolis, where he made a down payment on a flock of his own. The conditions of the deal were rigid: the rest of the money was to be paid in seven days or the deposit was forfeit and the animals, too. Within the week, he would have to return to his fattened sheep, move them to Lander, collect his money, and return to Thermopolis-a round trip of two hundred and fifty miles.
The sky over Thermopolis was dark with snowcloud. In his bearskin cap, his bearskin coat, his fleece-lined leather chaps, he saddled up Big Red-Big Red, whose life had begun somewhere in the Red Desert in 1888, a wild horse. The blizzard began as horse and rider were climbing the Owl Creek Mountains. Through steep terrain that would have been hazardous in warm clear weather, they felt their way in whiteouts and darkness, in wind-chill factors greater than fifty below zero. Covering about six miles an hour, they reached the herd in twenty-one hours, and almost immediately began the gingerly walk to Lander, conserving the animals’ weight. John won zakelijke energie his bet, got back on Big Red, and flew across the mountains with the money. He and the horse beat the deadline. He collected his ewes, took them home, and bred them. In seven days, he had, among other things, set himself forward one year. By 1910, when he married Miss Waxham, he owned more than eleven thousand sheep and hundreds of cattle and horses-a fortune in livestock which today would be valued at roughly five million dollars.

The gangplank

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We moved off the gangplank and into a highway throughcut of pink granite. Love said, “Now we are on the mountain, on the Precambrian core. You have to watch closely. This fantastic geology is subtle. I-80 was not built to show it off but to take advantage of its beneficences.” There were more pink granite cuts and also some dark, shattered amphibolite that had been the country rock into which the granite intruded i.4 billion years ago. The interstate had sliced through a section where the bright-pink granite. and the charcoal-gray amphibolite met. It was as if a wall painter had changed colors there. The dark rock was full of fracture planes zakelijke energie and cleavage planes. “That rock probably had been messed around for a long time before the granite came,” Love said. “It could be two, three billion years old. We don’t know.” As our altitude increased, the granite roadcuts became deeper and higher and seemingly more rutilant. The rock was competent. There were no benches, and the cuts were as much as fifty metres high. Resembling marbled steak, they were shot through with veins of quartz, where, long after the granite formed, it cracked and quartz filled it in. The walls were indented with vertical parallel grooves, like giant wormtrails in some exotic sediment. These were actually fossil shot holes and unloaded guide holes from the process of presplitting. The highway builders drilled the holes and then dynamited one of three. In this manner, they-and we-reached eight thousand six hundred and forty feet, the highest point on Interstate 80 between the Atlantic and the Pacific. What appeared to be the head of a chicken sat at the top of a big granite block, as if it had been zakelijke energie vergelijken chopped off there. Only when we drew close did I glance up and see that it was Abraham Lincoln. It was, in fact, an artful likeness, resting on an outsized plinth. Years ago, this had been the summit of the Lincoln Highway, which was now incorporated in its substance, if not in its novel spirit, into the innards of the interstate.

Miss Waxham’s school

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A geologist who grew up in Wyoming-with its volcanic activity, its mountains eroding, and its basins receiving sediment-would inherently comprehend the cycles of the earth: geology repeating itself as people watch. G. K. Gilbert, tl1e first Chief Geologist of the United States Geological Survey, once remarked that it is “the natural and legitimate ambition of a properly constituted geologist to zakelijke energie vergelijken see a glacier, witness an eruption and feel an earthquake.” A geologist could do all that as a child in Wyoming, and not have to look far for more.
Miss Waxham’s school was a log cabin on Twin Creek near the mouth of Skull Gulch, a mile from the Mills ranch. Students came from much greater distances, even through deep snow. Many mornings, ink was frozen in the inkwells, and the day began with ink-thawing, followed by reading, spelling, chemistry, and civil government. Sometimes snow blew through the walls, forming drifts in the schoolroom. Water was carried from the creek-drawn from a hole that was chopped in the ice. If the creek was frozen to the bottom, the students melted snow. Their school was fourteen by sixteen feet-smaller than a bathroom at Wellesley. The door was perforated with bullet holes from “some passerby’s six-shooter.” Over the ceiling poles were old gunnysacks and overalls, to prevent the sod roof from shedding sediment on the students. Often, however, the zakelijke energie air sparkled with descending dust, struck by sunlight coming in through the windows, which were all in the south wall. There was a table and chair for Miss Waxham, and eight desks for her pupils. Miss Waxham’s job was to deliver a hundred per cent of the formal education available in District Eleven, Fremont County, Wyoming.

The theory of continental glaciation

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The theory of continental glaciation seems less prone to grand revision. The sun itself seems as likely to be banished from the center of the solar system as the ice from the Pleistocene continents. The ice made Lake Seneca, Lake Cayuga-all the so-called Finger Lakes, of western New Yorkcutting them into stream valleys in exactly the manner in which it cut the fjords of Patagonia, the fjords of Norway, Alaska, and Maine.
After the ice quarried the huge quantities of kantoor huren per uur amsterdam Canadian rock that it dumped in the United States, it melted back and filled the quarries with new Canadian lakes-hundreds of thousands of Canadian lakes. A sixth of all the fresh water on earth is in Canadian ponds, Canadian streams, Canadian rivers, Canadian lakes. In Greenland, Antarctica, and elsewhere, a much greater quantity of fresh water-four times as much-is still imprisoned as ice, leaving precious little fresh water for the rest of tl1e world. Our Epoque Glaciaire has by now been illuminated by a century and a half of expanded research. Glacial outwash has been identified at the mouth of tlrn Mississippi, six hundred miles from the terminal moraine-a suggestion of the power and the volume of the rivers that melted from the ice. Where the land tilted north and the meltwaters pooled against the glacial front-and where waters were trapped between moraines and retreating ice-gargantuan lakes formed, such as Glacial Lake Maumee, the one of which Lake Erie is all that remains. Lake Michigan is all kantoor huren per uur rotterdam that remains of Glacial Lake Chicago. Lake Ontario is all that remains of Glacial Lake Iroquois. Lake Winnipeg, Lake Manitoba, the Lake of the Woods are among the remains of a glacial lake whose bed and terraces, stream deltas and wave-cut shores reach seven hundred miles across Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, and down into the United States as far as Milbank, South Dakota. With the exception of the Caspian Sea, this one was larger than any lake of the modem world. It was the supreme lake of the American Pleistocene-Glacial Lake Agassiz.

Pennsylvanian-massive river

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The rock was now Pennsylvanian-massive river sandstones of Pennsylvanian time. Flat, deck-like, it was comparatively undisturbed. It had been shed, to be sure, from eastern mountains, but had not been much affected by their compressive drive. Crazed streams had disassembled the plateau, leaving half-eaten wedding cakes, failed pyramids, oddly polygonal hair-covered hills. Pittsburgh was built upon such geometries, its streets and roads faithful to the schizophrenic streams, its hills separating its people into socio-racial ethno-religious piles-up this one the co-working space amsterdam snobs, up that the Jews, up this the tired, up that the poor. A hundred miles northeast of Pittsburgh in the Hurrying snow there were numerous roadcuts now, and in them were upward-fining sequences of sandstones, siltstones, shales-Allegheny black shales -underlying more levels of sandstone, siltstone, and shale. “If you were a prospector for coal, you’d go bananas when you saw these black shales,” Anita said. “There ought to be coal in these roadcuts. This is Pennsylvania in the Pennsylvanian-the home office of the rock.” Pennsylvania in the Pennsylvanian was jungle-a few degrees from the equator, like southern Indonesia and Guadalcanal. The freshwater swamp forests stood beside the nervously changing coastline of a saltwater bay, just as Sumatran swamps now stand beside the Straits of Malacca, and Bornean everglades beside the Java Sea. This was when glacial cycles elsewhere in the world were causing sea level to oscillate with geologic rapidity, and the swamps pursued the shoreline as the sea went down, and marine limestone buried the swamps as the sea returned. In just one of these cycles, the shoreline would move as much as five hundred miles-the sea transgressing and co-working space rotterdam regressing through most of Pennsylvania and Ohio. There were so many such cycles at close intervals in Pennsylvanian time that Pennsylvanian rock sequences are often striped like regimental ties-the signature of glaciers half the world away. They existed three hundred million years ago, and glacial patterns of that kind have not been repeated until now, when the measure of our own brief visit to the earth is being recorded as a paper-thin stripe in time.

The nineteen-seventies

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By the nineteen-seventies, what Behre had loosely described was widely believed to be the impact of one continent colliding with another, as Iapetus, tl1e proto-Atlantic ocean, was closed and the suture of the two continents became the spine of the Appalachians. The successive pulses of orogeny-Taconic, Acadian, Alleghenianwere attributed to the irregular shapes of shelves and coastlines of the continents. Where they bulged, the action would have an early date, and especially where some cape, point, or peninsula had a similar feature coming from the opposite side. Such co-working space leeuwarden headlands, in advance contact, were said to have produced the Taconic Orogeny. Great bays, eventually coming against one another, set off the Acadian Orogeny. The Alleghenian Orogeny was the final crunching scrum, completing the collision. The apparent suture was a line running through Brevard, North Carolina, more or less connecting Atlanta, Asheville, and Roanoke, not to mention Africa and America. The Martinsburg seafloor and the underlying carbonate rocks had unquestionably been broken into thrust sheets and shuffled like cards. Uplifted with their Precambrian basement, they had, in perfect harmony with the Old Geology, become mountains that shed their sediments-shed their elastic wedges-and buried the Martinsburg deep enough to turn it into slate, buried the carbonates deep enough to turn them into marble. Thus, plate tectonics fit. Plate tectonics may have restyled the orogeny and dilapidated the geosyncline, but it fit the classical evidence. There were, to be sure, certain anomalies, which suggested further study. If the Brevard Zone was the suture, how come it was so short? It was evident co-working space zwolle for a hundred miles, dubious for a few hundred more, and nonexistent after that. If the Taconic, Acadian, and Alleghenian orogenies were subdivisional impacts of a single intercontinental collision, how come they took so long? In plate-tectonic theory, plates move at differing speeds, the average being two inches a year.

In Suspect Terrain

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She had scarce uttered the words when the road jumped to the right and through a nameless gap and past a roadcut twenty metres high-Bald Eagle quartzite-and then more and higher roadcuts of Juniata sandstone in red laminations dipping steeply to the west. “I take it back. This is one hell of a series, let me tell you,” Anita mid. More rock followed, rock in the median, rock right and left, and we ran on to scout it, to take it in whole. The road was descending now through gorges of red rock-the results of precision blasting, of instant geomorphology. Their depth increased. They  co-working space amsterdam shadowed the road. And in their final bend was the revealed interior of a mountain, geographically known as Big Mountain. There had been a natural gap, but it had not been large enough, and dynamite had contributed three hundred thousand years of erosion. The entire mountain had been cut through-not just a toe or a spur. “Holy Toledo! Look at that son of a bitch!” Anita cried out. “It’s a hell of an exposure, a hell of a cut.” More than two hundred and fifty feet high and as red as wine, it proved to be the largest man-made exposure of hard rock on Interstate So between New York and San Francisco. It was an accomplishment that might impress the Chinese Geological Survey. “When you’re doing geology, look for the unexpected,” Anita instructed me, forgetting the Zagros Mountains. We stopped on the shoulder in the shadow of the rock. “Holy Toledo, look at that son of a bitch,” Anita repeated, with her head thrown back. “Mamma mia!” The bedding was aslant in long upsweeping lines, of which a few co-working space rotterdam were green. Almost due south of Lock Haven and thirty-one miles west of the Susquehanna River, it was Juniata sandstone, brought down off the Taconic uplift and spread to the west by the same system of rivers that transported the rock of the Delaware Water Gap.

The mountains

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How the mountains came up was not absolutely defined, but the story seemed clear, even if the authorship was somewhat moot, and it was a story of rhythmically successive orogenies, chapter headings in the biography of the earth. Some geologists preferred to liken them to punctuation marks, because mountain-building phases took up so little of all time-as little as one per cent, no more than ten per cent, depending on the geologist who was calculating the time. Anita conference room amsterdam said, choosing North America’s most eminent example, “The Gulf of Mexico is a big geosyncline, if you want. The big birdfoot delta of the Mississippi River is one hell of a sedimentary pile. Drill twenty-two thousand feet down and you’re still in the Eocene. The crust will take about forty thousand feet of sediment-that’s the elastic limit. Then it regurgitates the sediment, which begins to rebound. The sediment is also heated up, melted. Water, gas, and oil come out of the rock. Sedimentary layers move up with thermal drives as well as with isostasy. Sedimentary layers also move laterally, and are thus thrust sheets. In Cambra-Ordovician time, fifty million years or so before the Taconic mountains came up, the continent was to the west of us here, the coastline was in central Ohio, and to the east of us, where the Atlantic shelf is now, stood an island arc like Japan. There are volcaniclastic sediments of that age from Newfoundland to Georgia-just about the length of Japan. The present coast of Asia is the Ohio coastline in that story. Picture the sediment that is pouring off the Japanese islands into the Sea of Japan. The Martinsburg slates were shed not from the continent-not from Ohio-but conference room rotterdam mainly from the east, from the island arc offshore. You pile up forty thousand feet of sediment and it pops. The Martinsburg popped. The Taconic mountains came up. Once the process starts, it keeps itself going. You push up a mountain range, erode it into the west. The material depresses the crust. It is low-density material and it is brought down into the regime of high-density material. When enough has been piled on, the low-density material comes back up. That is how orogenic waves propagate themselves, each mountain mass being cannibalized to produce a new mountain mass to the west. But I still don’t know what started the process.”

An enormous burden

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A braided river carries such an enormous burden of sand and gravel that it does not meander through its valley like most streams, making cutbanks to one side and point bars opposite. Instead, it runs in braided channels through its own broad bed. Looking at those Silurian conglomerates, I could all but hear the big braided rivers I had seen coming down from the Alaska Range, with gravels a co-working space amsterdam mile wide, caribou and bears on the gravel, and channels flowing in silver plaits. If those rivers testify, as they do, to the erosional disassembling of raw young mountains, then so did the rock before us, with its clean river gravels preserved in river sand. “Geology repeats itself,” Anita said, and we moved along, touching, picking at the rock. She pointed out the horse-belly curves of channel-fill deposits, and the fact that none was deeper than five feet-a result of the braiding and the shifting of the channels. Evidently, the calm earth and quiet seas that were described by the older rock we had collected up the road had been utterly revolutionized in the event that built the ancient mountains, which, bald as the djebels of Arabia, had stood to the east and shed the sand and gravel this way. In the ripple marks, the crossbedding, the manner in which the sands had come to rest,  Anita could see the westerly direction of the braided-river currents more than four hundred million years ago. Three hundred years ago, William Penn arrived in this country and decided almost at once that the Lenape were Jews. “Their eye is little and black, not unlike a straight-look’t Jew,” he wrote home. “I am ready to believe them of the Jewish race ….A man would think himself in Dukes-place or Berry-street in London, when he seeth them.” They were “generally tall, straight, well-built” people “of singular proportion.” They greased themselves with clarified bear fat. Penn studied their language-the better to know them, the better to work out his treaties. “Their language is lofty, yet narrow, but like the  co-working space rotterdam Hebrew ….O ne word serveth in the place of three ….I must say that I know not a language spoken in Europe tlrnt hath words of more sweetness or greatness, in accent or emphasis, than theirs.” Penn heard “grandeur” in their tribal proper names. He listed them: Tammany, Poquessin, Rancocas, Shakamaxon. He could have added Wyomissing, Wissinoming, Wyoming. He made treaties with the Lenape under the elms of Shakamaxon. Tammany was present. He was to become the most renowned chief in the history of the tribe.