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Apr 22, 2010

Durham to Dakar

Early Jurassic
Did you know that the Appalachian Mountains used to be part of a range that included the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco?

Image by Ron Blakey, Emeritus Professor of Geology at Northern Arizona University, who has a series of ~40 slides (550 million years ago to present) at his Paleogeography and Geologic Evolution of North America.

For the last 40 million years of West Coast history, watch this plate tectonics animation from UC Santa Barbara.

08:59 PM in Destination Durham | Permalink


This is so extremely cool, Phil!


Posted by: kwixote | Apr 22, 2010 10:23:34 PM

I think I commented on this one before - can't recall. Anyway, I have a long standing affair with the Appalachians. It probably has the world's longest array of ridge lines that can be successfully flown in sailplanes. I used to soar sections of it, generally flying 120-140 mph at tree top height, and got to know those sections as well as Mark Twain's river boat captains got to know the mighty Miss. One quickly learns; how every town in these low hills is related to specific gaps in the ridge lines, why Pittsburgh is mid-western and Phillie an eastern city, why migrating hawks habitually stop and concentrate at certain points because I would have to stop and figure out what to do at the very same points. Very fond memories.

This story of how this system was formed million of years ago is fascinating. But the more you dig into it, the more obvious it becomes that the images significantly abstract and simplify the very great distortions that actually took place. From the air you can still very clearly see the seam between the apps to the east and the Allegheny front that marks it's western edge.

Thanks for the image Phil

Posted by: Bill Watson | Aug 18, 2010 5:48:57 PM

wow! i didn't know this til i found this blog. thanks for this informative post glad to see your post

Posted by: medieval clothing | Oct 7, 2010 10:44:26 PM

That plate tectonics animation is really amazing...incredible what you can do with the power of computing nowadays

Posted by: Allison | Nov 19, 2010 9:31:39 AM

mindblowing technology right here..

Posted by: Donna | Nov 26, 2010 12:32:38 PM

while this is amazing - what happened to your blog? It's been almost a year without a fresh piece of archer pelican... hope somehow you'll return and strike back with an even mightier force.

Posted by: Thailand Reisen | Feb 18, 2011 10:38:20 AM

thank you technology for permitting us today to freely and easily speak about these wonderful things ! :)

Posted by: Max | Feb 19, 2011 5:47:26 AM