The Rocks Speak

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Previous Columns

  • Region's volcanic rocks have gassy past - 1/31/2014

    If you look at lava flows — such as in the Lava Beds National Monument or along highways 140 or 66 east of the Bear Creek Valley — you might notice little round holes in some flows,...

  • Rub a dub Tub (Springs) - 1/3/2014

    While traveling east along the Greensprings Highway, you might notice people parked at the small Tub Springs State Park, so named for a tub originally placed there in the 1930s.

  • Black Butte's dark mystery explained - 11/1/2013

    South of Weed, Calif., along Interstate 5 at Black Butte Summit stands the impressive but silent sentinel of Black Butte. It just has to be a cinder cone, right?

  • Southern Oregon's Mount Fuji soars - 9/20/2013

    Mount McLoughlin is our closest High Cascade volcano.

  • Mount Shasta wins easily in a landslide - 9/6/2013

    We tend to look at the landscape around us and think it's unchanging because it hasn't changed in our lifetimes.

  • It's the fault's fault on I-5 - 6/21/2013

    When chugging up the Siskiyou Summit, motorists whose engines are overheating might wonder why the summit is the highest point along all of Interstate 5.

  • Some rocks beneath us came from far away - 5/24/2013

    Rocks west of the Bear Creek Valley define the "Applegate Group" of the Siskiyous, a part of the larger Klamath Mountains geologic province.

  • Onion skins and rock tombstones - 4/26/2013

    Rock seems quite solid, doesn't it? Many features, however, such as joints, faults and random fractures act as conduits for root growth, slow percolation of water and weathering far below the earth's...

  • Come to this joint often? - 3/1/2013

    No, we aren't talking about funny cigarettes or seedy bars. Geologic joints are the most common of brittle fracture systems in rocks.

  • How old is Olde? Look at 'half lives' - 2/8/2013

    Principles of relative-age dating allow geologists to understand which rocks are older than others, but they don't reveal how old they are in years.

  • Observing rock layers exercises your mind - 1/18/2013

    No, the term "relative age dating" does not refer to a socially taboo subject, just a series of logical observations, called principles.

  • Finding Elvis when he's right below your feet - 12/14/2012

    Have you ever seen imaginary objects in cloud shapes? That's what's so creative about our human minds: We can look at them and imagine we see animals, a pirate ship or Elvis.

  • Petrified wood tells tales - 11/30/2012

    Change is the only constant, and that's true of the Rogue Valley's climate, which hasn't always been the same.

  • Hooked on 'phossils' — right along I-5 - 11/16/2012

    Fossils are of interest to most everyone, even to those of us slowly becoming fossils.

  • High on rocks and a 'pot of porridge' - 10/19/2012

    The magnificent High Cascade volcanoes are relative youngsters, built on the surface of older, slightly tilted and deeply eroded Western Cascade volcanoes.

  • Humbled volcanic titans are right in our backyard - 10/4/2012

    All of us are enthralled by the large, High Cascade volcanoes such as Mount McLoughlin and Mount Shasta.

  • Our Payneful rocks - 8/31/2012

    Keeping one eye on the road, another on an unruly child and a third on the yellow-brown cliffs on the northeast side of the Rogue Valley, one might wonder how those cliffs originated.

  • Jump in, take a swim in Cretaceous waters - 8/10/2012

    If we dusted off our time machine and traveled to the Bear Creek Valley 100 million years ago, we'd find ourselves bobbing like corks on a vast ocean.

  • Mount A won't blow - 7/6/2012

    Although Mount Ashland has a volcanic shape, it won't erupt any time soon. It isn't and never was a volcano.

  • Exploring the rocks of Roxy Ann Peak - 6/22/2012

    Jump-start your imagination to envision the spaceship that Michael Rennie used ("The Day the Earth Stood Still," 1951-movie version) when deciding whether humans should be exterminated.

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