horst & graben

I’m writing from 34,000 feet today. Michelle and I are flying to Boston so I can attend a WebCT conference. WebCT wants to sell us a new version of their software.

I love flying because it gives me a chance to see all the things I learned about in physical geography. It was the first time I’ve seen the hosrt & grabben of the Basin and Range area, and the playas, alluvial fans and aprons in the desert of eastern california.

I’d better turn this into and extended entry – click to read more.

The geography of the area really lends itself to lessons in erosion. There aren’t many things to cover the ground, so the wind and water really do a number on the topography. Its obviously not a great place to live, as there are not any houses like there were in San Fransisco. Go figure.

There are really a wide variety of browns out there. I think the entire hue/brightness range is covered, from the bright sand in the playas to the dark rock and sage. There are a few, dispersed center-pivot irrigation circles. How odd. I’m used to seeing them in large groups. I just saw one small homestead that had one green circle and one brown one. I guess they aren’t getting their hopes up.

We must be nearing Las Vegas. There are starting to be large clusters of houses. Maybe we’re farther north, maybe into Utah by now. I don’t mean to sound condescending, but they all look the same.

We’re past horst & graben now. That was cool to see. Here what it looks like:
/ \_/ \_/ \_ and so on. Its the result of the surface being scruntched together (compression) and the land breaks along faults into long blocks. Some of the blocks rise, some drop. Its different than in the cumberland where the ground just folds and has undulating hills and valleys.

Anyway, my leg is falling asleep now, so I’m going to finish writing.

2 thoughts on “horst & graben”

  1. Click on what? Have a great time in Boston — one of my two best friends from high school lives there and loves it.

  2. Weird — I left my comment and now the rest of your post appeared.What’s a playa? I thought it was a guy who messes around a lot.

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