Saturday, September 15, 2018

Flash Flood!

Sometimes when it rain in the High Atlas, you get a flash flood.
While our research team was in Morocco for field work we experienced one of these events while we were (fortunately) in our Auberge (hotel) safe and dry! Being the Geology nerd I am, I had to take some videos of this awesome geomorphology event happening.

NOTE: If you want to use these gifs/videos for teaching, you are welcome to do so, but please credit me (Dr. Rowan Martindale, UT Austin) when you do.

This was the rainstorm (which also included hail) that started it all!

Our hike that day had taken us up the gully to the top of this hill. We went back to the Auberge when the dark clouds rolled in and started to threaten rain.... I am glad we did!

Here it comes!

While it may not look like much, this stream was easily moving basketball-sized boulders. Sitting in the Auberge, we could feel them hitting the bedrock!

The river built it's own little alluvial fan on the road and started cutting channels!

Fortunately, I never park my car in this spot.

Some very brave people decided they would cross in between rainstorms...

Eventually the bulldozer got in and cleaned up the largest debris...

But then it started raining again and the river roared back up to full flow!

The next day was lovely and we were back up the mountain for field work!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

General Public Talk on Ya Ha Tinda at RTMP

Last week I trekked up to Alberta to give a talk at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology (write up here). I spoke about the exceptional fossils found at Ya Ha Tinda Ranch and how this site can help us understand Oceanic Anoxic Events in the Early Jurassic. The talk was a "general public" talk so it should (hopefully) be easy to understandable for everyone.

Here it is, enjoy!

I also got to (finally) see the display case with the Ya Ha Tinda specimens!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Happy birthday Charles Darwin!

Today, February 12th, 2018, is Charles Darwin's birthday (he would have been 208 today!). To celebrate this auspicious day, here are some photos and gifs from this weekend's "Darwin Day" celebration in Austin.

We dusted off our dino trackway and laid it out! The kids (and adults) put on dinosaur shaped shoes, step in some paint, and then walk along a piece of paper to make a "fossil trackway".

Then, they get to be a Paleontologist! They measure the foot size, and their stride length.

These measurements let them figure out what sort of dinosaur they would have been (Microraptor? Tyrannosaurus? etc.) and how fast they were going (as fast as a raccoon or faster than a horse?). They even get a certificate and their trackway to take home!

It is such a fun exercise, even the grad students running it wanted to have a go during the breaks!

And of course, what kind of a birthday would it be without cake?!?

Happy birthday Chuck!