Accretionary Wedge: Time Warp

This month’s Accretionary Wedge is the time warp! What time in geologic history would I like to visit (no livable conditions required) with this magical new technology? There are so many! How can I choose??

This fancy moon picture was on Wikipedia!

This fancy moon picture was on Wikipedia!

With the space warp component included, this is especially difficult. Do I want to see if a plume starts at the core-mantle boundary? (yes!) Do I want to see what happens to plumes and/or subducted slabs at the transition zone? (yes!) What about the production of a LIP, or a major caldera-forming eruption? (yes! yes!) But although I’m really a volcanophile, I think I feel a little more traditionally geologic about this. I want to see a mass extinction — a big, catastrophic, geologic-record-punctuating event. The formation of the moon would be really fun, too, but it’s not as controversial anymore (to most people). There are still poorly-understood mass extinctions — in particular, the biggest one of them all: the P-T. I want to see who’s right and who’s wrong, and I want to see what happened, all for myself.

Though I suppose it would be damn depressing to watch all that death. Maybe I should stick with the moon?



I’m in Houston for GSA! It’s my first GSA ever. I will only be at the meeting for two days (I have a thesis to write and classes to teach, so I can’t stick around), but I’m excited to finally get to see this meeting. It’s other side of the geology community, the people who only rarely come to the ginormous AGU meetings that take over San Francisco. GSA is more of the small college, paleo, Earth history, and honest-to-god straight-up geology crowd. I’m here in part to help out with our department search, and in part to see the meeting.

Lessons from day one:
-OMG seriously seriously I cannot emphasize this enough, best steak I have ever eaten in my life. Holy crap.
-One of the most awesome grocery warehouses stores I have seen
-Houston is too hot
-I really do like me some zoning
-Oil really is where the money is
-The schedule for tomorrow at the meeting has almost nothing remotely related to my specialty. I think it will be mostly a poster room day. Low key academically, but tougher on the legs.