GeoPicture of the Week: The Ferpècle Glacier

The Ferpècle Glacier is a 6.5 km (4.0 mi) long glacier (2005) situated in the Pennine Alps in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. Image credits: Maël Torog.

Cross bedding explained, on an outcrop from Mars

NASA recently uploaded a strikingly beautiful photograph on their website showing a petrified sand dune on Mars. The image was actually pieced together from several shots taken using Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) on August 27th. From end to end, the panorama spans a full 135 degrees of other-worldly awesomeness, with east to the left and southwest to the right.

GeoPicture of the Week: Pangaea with today’s borders

Today’s Spain was close to Greenland, Tibet and Australia were neighbors, and Africa and South America were closely hugging – as can be roughly seen from today’s coastline. This image shows that the Earth is not a static rock – but an active and mobile system.

GeoPicture of the Week: The Chocolate Hills

These brownish hills are actually limestone mounds in Bohol province in the Philippines. They are normally covered by grass, but turn a deep-brown colour during the dry season, looking more and more chocolatey. There are about 1,500 mounds in the Philippines; similar karst mounts exist in Croatia and Slovenia, northern Puerto Rico, and Pinar del Río Province, Cuba – but they’re not covered

GeoPicture of the Week: The First Photo From the Deep Space Climate Observatory Satellite

This week, we’re going for something a little different: this is the first photo from the Deep Space Climate Observatory Satellite, aNOAA Earth observation and space weather satellite launched by SpaceX on a Falcon 9 launch vehicle on February 11, 2015 from Cape Canaveral. This is the Earth in 2015, as seen from outer space. It’s a remake of the famous

GeoPicture of the Week: Mount Fuji from the ISS

Sometimes, astronauts onboard the ISS captures some stunning pictures. Here, we see Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan, an active stratovolcano. Mount Fuji is located at a triple tectonic junction, where the Amurian Plate, the Okhotsk Plate, and the Philippine Sea Plate meet – an extremely volatile geologic area.

Geopicture of the Week: Graben in Iran

In geology, grabens are depressed blocks of land bordered by parallel faults. In German, “graben” means trench or ditch, and that’s a pretty good name for it. Graben are produced from parallel normal faults, where the hanging wall is downthrown and the footwall is upthrown; the faults dip towards the center.

This is how the Moon looks under the microscope!

The Apollo program returned 380.05 kg of lunar rocks and soil, and most of the samples are stored at the Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility. The samples of rocks, breccias, and regolith were polished into thin sections, allowing for optical geologic studies to be performed on them.

GeoPicture of the Week: Fresh Crater on Mars

This jaw-dropping image was taken by High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in the Sirenum Fossae region of Mars. This impact crater appears relatively recent as it has a sharp rim and well-preserved ejecta. The steep inner slopes are carved by gullies and include possible recurring slope lineae on the equator-facing slopes. Fresh craters often have

GeoPicture of the Week: Cosmic Navel, Garfield, Utah


GeoPicture of the Week: Narrow Lava River

Here we see a narrowing river of lava flows through the fractured surface of the delta, feeding the ocean entry and creating new land.

GeoPicture of the Week: The Seven Sisters of Sussex

The Seven Sisters are a series of chalk cliffs by the English Channel, in Sussex (doh!). In case you didn’t know, chalk is actually a porous sedimentary rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite forming in somewhat deep underwater conditions from the gradual accumulation of minute calcite plates (coccoliths) shed from micro-organisms called coccolithophores.   The southern and

GeoPicture of the Week: Turgite [aka unicorn dung]

Originally described from Turjinskii Mine (Turginsk Mine) in Russia, turgite is generally considered a variety of two more common minerals – goethite and hematite. Turgite is a mixture of the two minerals due to the alteration of goethite, typically found in the botryoidal (globular) habit of the “parent” goethite; however, because it is a mixture of two minerals, it is not considered a

Geopicture of the Week: A Mineral Mural

This beautiful formation is made up of three mineral: Chalcopyrite (green), Galena (purple) and Dolomite (gray).

GeoPictures of the Week: Volcano Lava Creates Stunning Blue Flames

Today, we have more pictures… because I just couldn’t limit myself to one. Olivier Grunewald, a well known French photographer traveled the world to capture these stunning images of volcanic eruptions.

Geopicture of the Week: Clinoptilolite

Clinoptilolite is a natural zeolite comprising a microporous arrangement of silica and alumina tetrahedra. These zeolite crystals form when volcanic molten lava meets the sea. This chemical reaction creates a crystal with a cage-like, porous structure and negative charge, making it one of the rare, negatively-charged minerals in nature. Engineers have been exploiting this feature, using zeolites as filters for

GeoPicture of the Week: Strengite

Strengite is a rare mineral, named after Johann August Streng, a professor of Mineralogy at University of Giessen, Germany, in the late 1800s. Streng was an assistant to Robert Bunsen at University of Heidelberg and later professor of chemistry at the Clausthal Mining Academy and was an innovator in his field (chemical titration). Strengite is a relatively rare iron phosphate mineral with the formula:

GeoPicture of the Week: Folded and Tilded Limestone in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Jasper National Park is truly amazing – beautiful rivers and valleys, several peaks over 3,000 meters, and an overall stunning geology. The western ridge forms the continental divide, separating streams that flow east and north to the Arctic Ocean or Hudson Bay from those which drain westward to the Pacific Ocean. Here, we see a tilted mountain composed of folded limestones.

GeoPicture of the Week: Pyromorphite

Pyromorphite is as awesome as it sounds. The mineral is composed of lead chlorophosphate: Pb5(PO4)3Cl, sometimes occurring in sufficient abundance to be mined as an ore of lead. However, most of the time, it is found as a secondary mineral in the oxidized zones of lead ore deposits. The color of the mineral is usually some bright shade of green, yellow or

Photographer finds stunning wildlife Arctic tundra

The Arctic tundra is one of the harshest environments on the face of the planet… but you wouldn’t tell that by looking at the photography of Ivan Kislov. In his pictures, the tundra is teeming with wildlife, represented in all its splendour.