"In a series of papers published between 1923 and 1932, J Harlen Bretz described an enormous plexus of proglacial stream channels eroded into the loess and basalt of the Columbia Plateau, eastern Washington. He argued that this region, which he called the Channeled Scablands, was the product of a cataclysmic flood, which he called the Spokane flood. Considering the Nature and vehemence of the opposition to his hypothesis, which was considered outrageous, its eventual scientific verification constitutes one of the most fascinating episodes in the history of modern science."
Victor R. Baker, 1978

In Baker's 1978 paper, he highlights the relationship between the flood morphology of the channeled scablands and the flood channels on Mars. In both cases, cataclysmic floods scoured the landscape, producing deeply incised river valleys, streamlined hills, and other indicative erosional features.
The recent discovery of columnar jointing in Martes Valles, Mars (Milazzo et al., 2009) has strengthened the relationship between the Channeled Scablands, where jointing is readily observable in the Columbia basalts, and our terrestrial neighbor.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Meet the Expedition Leaders: Patrick Burkhart

Dr Patrick Burkhart joined the faculty of Slippery Rock University in 1998, teaching Hydrology, Hydrogeology, Environmental Geology, and Glacial Geology.  His professional interests lie in water resources, landscape evolution, and environmental change.  He is a strong supporter of collaborative undergraduate research, as both an advocate for systemic enhancement and as an accomplished practitioner.  His student collaborators have sought adventure-based discovery in the Badlands of South Dakota, glaciers in Alaska, watersheds of Costa Rica, and many aspects of Pennsylvania geology. He has also worked as a consulting hydrogeologist, examining water budget analyses, contaminant transport, and aquifer remediation of petroleum hydrocarbons.  His research has taken him from arctic to tropical settings in pursuit of understanding the evolution of geologic thought and the history of science, particularly enjoying travel in the footsteps of Charles Darwin.

Read about some of his research here: http://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/archive/19/12/article/i1052-5173-19-12-4.htm

No comments:

Post a Comment