Rock News

Late-breaking developments in geologic time.

cracked stone wall

Today brings a preference for those sorts of conversations where it is understood that “recent news” refers to that which began to develop in the last one to two million years, such as the last ice age or interglacial period, or the rising of granitic mass of upstart mountain ranges.

For example, since the Pacific Plate beneath San Diego is drifting northwest as it grinds against the North American Plate at a rate of about two inches per year, forecasters are predicting that in fourteen million years, the southmost major city of the golden state will be a good deal north of San Francisco. Roads and aqueducts will obviously need some restructuring. It is unclear what current commissioners of infrastructure development and transportation are doing to address the issue.

Worldly-wise love to speak of pressing issues, but on a literal level it seems that the shifting of plates floating over the molten layer of planet should qualify here, except for the fact that one gets accustomed to speaking of it’s composition in familiar cliché’s like the ground beneath my feet

Confidence is one thing, but smug complacency is another. I like the confidence of the child who calmly and steadfastly articulates a vision of the universe in crayon. As in, here is the bottom of a rectangle of white paper. Here is a box of eight colors. This brown horizontal line, the beginning of earth. These vertical hash marks, assorted vegetation. These longer ones, trees, and so on: sky, clouds, people with wheels for feet, legs and arms extending directly from their heads. 

Give me this, or talk of volcanic islands sprouting in the ocean, their collisions into the mainland. Let’s discuss the movement and crystallization of molten earth, the nibbling friction of wind and water and other erosive forces, in concert with pressure and time, the undressing of earth’s layers, exposing batholith and other decadent depictions of time. 

Let us banter about the goings-on among granodiorite, of tonalite trysts; may the gossip of the moment feature gabbro rock and scintillating details about sandstone, shale; a conference of conglomerate, an expose on metavolcanic rocks metamorphosed with the last island collision. That’s the news I need today.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I am here to wonder out loud. The point is not to get a clear answer, a complete picture, but to remember how incomplete the picture is, to embrace the process once again, of discovery, of questions, to notice the stirrings of wonder. To leave crumbs behind, for the next traveler.

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