Geology - Owlcation - Education



The History of Plate Tectonics

The theory of plate tectonics grew from Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift and incorporates modern data such as the magnetic record of the seafloor. The theory of plate tectonics helps to explain natural phenomena such as volcanic island arcs, large mountain belts, and seamount chains.


Mining Human Poop for Gold

These phrases are known by most us: Flushing it down the toilet, a diamond in the rough, a pearl in the wild. They all refer to finding value where none is expected. As it turns out, human waste contains precious metals and gems washed down the drain unconsciously during our hurried lives.


The Highbanker: An Automatic Power Sluice

Time is money. Even an amateur prospector can improve the odds of making some coin by classifying in conjunction with sluicing. Saving your back by shoveling once can cut the medical bills! A high banker can do all this and more. Fundamentals, design, physics, and mechanical descriptions follow.


Russian Volcanoes on the Ring of Fire

The Bolshaya Udina volcano in Siberia is coming back to life. This Russian volcano situated along the dangerous Ring of Fire has shown so much seismic activity over the past few years that its classification has changed from extinct to active. Some scientists think that it could erupt at any time.


Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking)

Hydraulic fracturing is a type of drilling and mining for oil and natural gas. Fracking wells are typically built on shale deposits that contain significant reserves of natural gas. Fracking may be causing earthquakes, and uses chemicals that are toxic.


Krakatoa, the Monster Volcano

On August 27th 1883, after a long period of relative quiet, the Krakatoa volcano located between Java and Sumatra, roared to live. During the eruption, the island mountain blew itself apart, killing over 30,000 people in the process. Today, Krakatoa is back, but in a much smaller way.


Top 10 Interesting and Fun Facts About Volcanoes

Volcanoes occur where magma (molten rock) from deep inside the earth forces its way to the surface. The magma may erupt as red-hot lava, or may explode into clouds of ash and volcanic bombs. Volcanic activity also produces strange landscapes of gushing geysers, steamy lakes, and bubbling mud pools.


What Is Carbon Capture?

Carbon Capture and Storage is a important tool that tackles climate change, provides energy security, creates jobs and economic prosperity. The types of CCS are described and the technology, capture, transportation and storage are all described. This stops greenhouse gases from polluting our skies.


Landslide Tsunamis: Are They Dangerous?

A landslide tsunami, also called a megatsunami, can be created when large amounts of earthen material slides into a body of water, creating a tsunami type wave. These waves can be much taller than a normal tsunami that usually occurs when an underwater earthquake shakes up the sea floor.


Supervolcanoes: Past, Present and Future

Scientific use of the term "super" is rather rare, as it tends to be a superlative more often found in our common vernacular than in the annals of science. Nonetheless, geologists have assigned a set value of parameters to define the monstrous geologic events, better known as supervolcanoes.


Seven West Coast Volcanoes Worth Watching

West Coast volcanoes have been relatively quiet since 1980, when Mt. St. Helens exploded and killed over 50 people. Nonetheless, the West Coast has, at the very least, another half dozen active volcanoes that could erupt in the near future and create a dangerous situation for anyone living nearby.


Volcanoes 101

Volcanoes are fascinating and sometimes terrifying natural events that occur at many places around the world. Understanding the science behind the creation and eruption of a volcano can better help us comprehend both the detrimental and beneficial effects that volcanic activity can bring.


What Is Fool's Gold?

Fool's Gold, chemical name pyrite, is a puzzling mineral that has baffled gold prospectors for centuries. This article details the differences between pyrite and true gold and explains why the humble rock isn't nearly as valuable as its golden lookalike.


Ancient Mining Tools and Techniques

Slow-going and dangerous it may have been, but ancient mining techniques were clever. The earliest mines sought cosmetic pigments for funerals. Picks and hammer stones are examples of stone age tools. Later, ancient man discovered metals which provided materials for superior weapons and tools.