Posts Tagged ‘Geography

26
Mar
10

Dust Bowl

The Dust Bowl or the Dirty Thirties was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936 (in some areas until 1940). The phenomenon was caused by severe drought coupled with decades of extensive farming without crop rotation, fallow fields, cover crops or other techniques to prevent erosion. Deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains had killed the natural grasses that normally kept the soil in place and trapped moisture even during periods of drought and high winds.

During the drought of the 1930s, with no natural anchors to keep the soil in place, it dried, turned to dust, and blew away eastward and southward in large dark clouds. Much of the soil ended up deposited in the Atlantic Ocean, carried by prevailing winds which were in part created by the dry and bare soil conditions itself. These immense dust storms—given names such as “Black Blizzards” and “Black Rollers”—often reduced visibility to a few feet (around a meter). The Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres (400,000 km2), centered on the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and adjacent parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.

The Dust Bowl was an ecological and human disaster caused by misuse of land and years of sustained drought. Millions of acres of farmland became useless, and hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes; many of these families (often known as “Okies”, since so many came from Oklahoma) traveled to California and other states, where they found economic conditions little better than those they had left.

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17
Mar
10

Ross Ice Shelf

Ice shelves are thick plates of ice, formed continuously by glaciers, that float atop an ocean. The presence of the shelves acts as “brakes” for the glaciers. These shelves serve another important purpose — “they moderate the amount of melting that occurs on the glaciers’ surfaces. The Ross Ice Shelf is one of many such shelves.

Now for the numbers which sets this ice shelf apart!

It is about the size of France, and reaches into Antarctica from the south. The ice mass is about 800 km (500 miles) wide and 970km (600 miles) long. In some places, namely its southern areas, the ice shelf can be almost 750 m (2,450 ft) thick. The Ross Ice Shelf pushes out into the sea at the rate of between 1.5 m (5ft) and 3 m (10 ft) a day. There are other glaciers that gradually add bulk to it. At the same time, the freezing of seawater below the ice mass increases the thickness of the ice from 40 cm (16 in) to 50 cm (20 in). Sometimes, fissures and cracks may cause part of the shelf to break off; the largest known is about 31,000 km² (12,000 square miles), that is slightly larger than the size of Belgium. Iceberg B-15, the world’s largest recorded iceberg, was calved from the Ross Ice Shelf during March 2000.

Read more here.

08
Mar
10

Tuya

A tuya is a type of distinctive, flat-topped, steep-sided volcano formed when lava erupts through a thick glacier or ice sheet. They are somewhat rare worldwide, being confined to regions which were formerly covered by continental ice sheets and also had active volcanism during the same time period.

The origin of the term comes from Tuya Butte, one of many tuyas in the area of the Tuya River and Tuya Range in far northern British Columbia, Canada.

S. Holland, a geographer for the British Columbia government, described tuyas in the following way:

“They have a most interesting origin … [they were] formed by volcanic eruptions which had been thawed through the Pleistocene ice-sheet by underlying volcanic heat. The lavas capping the mountains were extruded after the volcanoes were built above lake-level, and the outward-dipping beds were formed by the chilling of the lava when it reached the water’s edge.”

26
Nov
09

Charles Hapgood and Crustal Displacement

Its been a long while since I posted. My co-author has been answering a lot of questions! applause!!

So watched 2012 a couple of days back, and yeah twice. And there was this reference to Charly hapgood and some theories that he proposed and the movie to quite an extent was based on it. So I decided to google it up.

Hapgood was an American Scientist. In 1958 Hapgood published his first book, The Earth’s Shifting Crust which denied the existence of continental drift. The foreword was written by the physicist Albert Einstein shortly before his death in 1955. In this book, and two successive books, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (1966) and The Path of the Pole (1970), Hapgood proposed the theory that the Earth’s axis has shifted numerous times during geological history.

This is what Einstein had to say (OK its slightly technical, but its Einstein you see)

    In a polar region there is a continual deposition of ice, which is not symmetrically distributed about the pole. The Earth’s rotation acts on these unsymmetrically deposited masses [of ice], and produces centrifugal momentum that is transmitted to the rigid crust of the Earth. The constantly increasing centrifugal momentum produced in this way will, when it has reached a certain point, produce a movement of the Earth’s crust over the rest of the Earth’s body, and this will displace the polar regions toward the equator

Read this and this and this for more.

18
Nov
09

Cloud forest

A cloud forest, also called a fog forest, is a generally tropical or subtropical evergreen montane moist forest characterized by a high incidence of low-level cloud cover, usually at the canopy level. Cloud forests often exhibit an abundance of mosses covering the ground and vegetation, in which case they are also referred to as mossy forests. Mossy forests usually develop on the saddles of mountains, where moisture introduced by settling clouds is more effectively retained.

Typically, there is a relatively small band of altitude in which the atmospheric environment is suitable for cloud forest development. This is characterized by persistent mist or clouds at the vegetation level, resulting in the reduction of direct sunlight. Trees in these regions are generally shorter and more heavily stemmed than in lower altitude forests in the same regions. Abundant moss and fern covering, and frequently flowers such as orchids may be found. Soils are rich but boggy, with a preponderance of peats and humus. Within cloud forests, much of the precipitation is in the form of fog drip, where fog condenses on tree leaves and then drips onto the ground below.

15
Nov
09

New ocean forming in African desert

In 2005, a gigantic, 35-mile-long rift broke open the desert ground in Ethiopia. At the time, some geologists believed the rift was the beginning of a new ocean as two parts of the African continent pulled apart, but the claim was controversial.

Now, scientists from several countries have confirmed that the volcanic processes at work beneath the Ethiopian rift are nearly identical to those at the bottom of the world’s oceans, and the rift is indeed likely the beginning of a new sea.

African and Arabian tectonic plates meet in the desert, and have been slowly pulling apart for roughly 30 million years. The same movement has also been parting the Red Sea. But this is only at a speed of less than 1 inch per year.

The new study, published in the latest issue of Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that the highly active volcanic boundaries along the edges of tectonic ocean plates may suddenly break apart in large sections, instead of little by little as has been predominantly believed. In addition, such sudden large-scale events on land pose a much more serious hazard to populations living near the rift than would several smaller events

Click here and here to read more.

01
Oct
09

Nauru

It is an island nation formerly known as Pleasant Land. It’s the world’s smallest island covering just 21sq kms (am sure some of our townships in Class ‘C’ cities must be bigger than this) and has the smallest number of independent population.  

It had huge phosphate deposits that got exhausted after continuous mining for about 80 years. The phosphates were exported in bulk. These exports reached their peak in 1980’s when for a short duration, this sovereign state boasted of having the highest per-capita income in the world.  

Right now, Nauru now depends on aid given by Australian authorities. Nauru in return is the illegal immigrant detention center for Australia. Read more on Wiki.




So what’s this blog about?

Another attempt? Well yes. Attempting to figure out another sustainable model (there are some other attempts going on parallel-ly). Well, we have a lot of questions in mind. we read up stuff, we do some research to find answers to these questions. This is an attempt to publish that little 15-20 minute research.
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