An ocean on land

Science is not all about books or laboratories, but also includes fieldwork. Unlike what people might think, this is not a holiday (although you get to bring home a lot of beautiful pictures) but work. And it is crucial for geology! But what do we do? And why? Standing in a beautiful landscape surrounded by rocks that contain information you are looking for, science shows a very different and adventurous side. Since our blog is about oceanic rocks, fieldwork can involve going on a ship. However, an ocean can be found also on land, and as we will show you in this movie, Oman hosts oceanic rocks with plenty of interesting features.

A curious structure: a leaf or a crystal?

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Fig.1: “Curious structure” from the Erro-Tobbio outcrop in the Ligurian Alps (Italy)

If I would ask you what you see in the picture above, some of you might see a leaf, a fossil leaf that fell from its tree 50 millions years ago. You might recognize a leaf blade in the central part, and around it the symmetric veins that branch toward the relatively well defined margin. Let’s compare it to a typical leaf morphology: Analogies are quite evident! Other people might relate such a symmetrical structure to a lake where the central line corresponds to the water surface. The upper part is reflecting on the lake surface which gives the effect of symmetry. Continue reading