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Calling all geology bloggers!!

August 25, 2007

Okay, I think we are getting somewhere now with getting a geology blog carnival going.

Coturnix from A Blog Around The Clock was kind enough to chime in and provide me a link to a post from last year outlining what a blog carnival is and what it should be (take a look). This is helpful…as the comments from last week revealed, many of us geo-bloggers are aware of carnivals but not quite sure what they are.

What is a blog carnival?

A blog carnival is:
– well-defined
– well-archived
– regular
– rotating
– linkfest

So far, we have agreed that the (still) unnamed geology carnival will be rotating (hosted on a different blog each issue), regular (about once a month, more-or-less), and, of course, providing the links to the posts.

We are still working on the ‘well-defined’ part of this equation. What should it be about? This is a tough question. Here’s what I gathered from the comments in the original post last week:

  • we don’t want to focus on a single discipline within earth sciences (e.g., seismology, geochronology, sedimentology, etc.); the best aspect of a blogging community is the breadth
  • but…we don’t want to be completely unfocused either

A couple of ways to strike the perfect balance (that we thought of so far) are to have editions of the carnival focus on:

  • a geographic region — in this way, bloggers can share their expertise and knowledge but we will have a ‘theme’ within which the (hopefully) numerous posts will fit
  • similarly…focus on a specific geologic time (e.g., Cretaceous, Archean, Holocene, etc.)
  • share stories and photos about field work or field trips — many of us have chosen the path of geology as our scientific discipline because of field experiences

At this point, it seems there is a decent consensus to have our first edition of _________ to be about a geographic region. I think this is a great idea. I was also thinking that since plate tectonics is what ties everything together….it is our closest thing to a ‘grand unifying theory’… that for our first edition we should choose a tectonic plate to blog about (maybe one of the bigger ones to start).

In this way, we can choose a region but, at the same time, have a geological foundation from which the individual posts can start.

Any thoughts?
Does a ‘plate’ theme work for everybody? The host of each edition could be the one that gets to choose the plate (everybody has their favorite).

If everybody is on board with this, then I can go ahead and put together the first ‘call for posts’. But, please don’t hesitate to comment on potential shortcomings of this approach….I really want this to be a community decision.

One final, but very important issue: We need a name and a logo!!
I don’t know….maybe “Plates and Periods” …. or something.
Let the brainstorming begin.

image of plates from here


24 Comments leave one →
  1. Alessia Maggi permalink
    August 25, 2007 4:31 pm

    Hi Brian, here are some random ideas to throw into the mix. Modify, combine, and reject at will:

    Terrae Scriptum , Terra Communis , EarthScape , TerraeFabulae , GeoIstoria , Down2Earth , GeoTimes , GeoLogi , Tectology, Geologipherous, Geologacious, Geoloquacity.

  2. Brian permalink
    August 25, 2007 4:47 pm

    hmmm…the ‘Terra’ theme is intriguing…

    also, the last few get me thinking about some play on the word ‘logical’ … like ‘Geo-Logical Thoughts’ or ‘Geo-Logical Reasoning’ … and so on

  3. GeologyJoe permalink
    August 25, 2007 5:49 pm

    I would like to place a vote for ‘Rock Talk’

  4. Kent permalink
    August 25, 2007 6:26 pm

    I like Terrae Scriptum.

  5. CJR permalink
    August 26, 2007 2:50 am

    My suggestion: ‘The Accretionary Wedge’. It appeals to my British sense of pun. Of Alessia’s I like ‘Geoloquacity’ the best, probably for the same reason…

  6. Dr. Lemming permalink
    August 26, 2007 3:55 am

    A few random comments:
    1. Given our wide geographic distribution, how about a geological setting instead of a particular locale: e.g. “Island Arcs” instead of “The Phillipine’s Plate”.

    2. Another, potentially useful topic for the rest of the blogosphere as a first, intro topic: Geologic misconceptions.

    2a. Are we doing this for us for for other people?

    3. Personally, I need a month’s lead time, since my field rosters are generally about 3 weeks.

    4. I can already proffer several entries if the catagory is “non-geologic posts in a blog that is nominally about Earth Science”

    No fucking Latin! Our discipline is great in that our technical terms are deliciously multi-cultural, so we don’t need to use languages that belong in the fossil rocord.

  7. Brian permalink
    August 26, 2007 9:39 am

    Dr. Lemming…I was thinking about the tectonic setting (e.g., island arcs) instead of a plate, but figured a plate would be much more inclusive to the potentially very broad posts.

    The last thing we want is a small # of submissions because bloggers don’t have time to research/write about trenches, continental arcs, cratons, transform margins, etc. Firstly, we all span disciplines, and secondly, we all have other jobs. I don’t see this is a super-serious technical session requiring tons of research. But, like I said, i’m open. Should we start broad and focus after time?

    “Is this for us or other people?” Both…maybe mostly for us at first, so we can see who all is out there.

    “…we don’t need to use languages that belong in the fossil record”
    HA! Good point.

  8. Brian permalink
    August 26, 2007 9:53 am

    oh yeah…forgot to say…to Lemming re plate as topic

    It seems from the previous discussion, we all thought a geographic place would be a good idea, so picking a plate is simply a geological way to do that

    perhaps Ron, with his GoogleEarth wizardry, can create a file with all the links in them, that might be a neat way to present the carnival

    Chris…’The Accretionary Wedge’ is kind of cool…

  9. Dr. Lemming permalink
    August 26, 2007 2:12 pm

    I like “The accretionary wedge” as well.

  10. Yorrike permalink
    August 26, 2007 4:40 pm

    As unifying as a tectonic plate would be as a topic guide, please spare a thought for us planetary geologists before setting anything in stone. So to speak.

    There’s cutting edge, outrageously interesting geology occurring on other planets and fascinating insights to be had from the bits and pieces that made up those worlds. So I’d posit an extra terrestrial “plate” would be needed to fully encompass our disciplines.

    I’d also like to lend support for “The Accretionary Wedge” as a name.

  11. Brian permalink
    August 26, 2007 7:23 pm

    Yorrike…that is a good point about planetary geology, I didn’t even think of that!…I guess I was showing my Earth-bias

    I feel a good vibe for “The Accretionary Wedge” so far

  12. Kent permalink
    August 27, 2007 2:48 am

    Yeah, I change my vote to the Wedge.

  13. Brian permalink
    August 27, 2007 4:26 pm

    Okay…i was hoping to get a little more feedback in terms of level of participation (like from kim, yami, miguel?)….but, maybe i’ll assume that we’ll have some takers for the first edition of ‘The Accretionary Wedge’.

    I will put together a ‘call for posts’ tonight or tomorrow. Won’t know how this works until we give it a shot, I guess.

  14. Kim permalink
    August 27, 2007 8:19 pm

    The name “Accretionary Wedge” sounds fine to me – I was pulling a total blank on puns that aren’t structure-specific.

    As for the first topic… you know, I’m not sure that a specific plate would draw a lot of posts. I’m personally hesitant to post about a plate that I don’t know in a lot of depth (except in response to something in the news) – I don’t want to screw up and say something totally wrong. Maybe other people feel differently, though.

    I would prefer topics that could go in unexpected directions, depending on people’s interests. Geologic surprises (things that you wouldn’t expect to find in a particular place)? What is it about X (where X could be deep marine sediments or desert landscapes or the core-mantle boundary or ring-shaped structures on Venus or whatever) that makes you want to study/know more about X? The worst field/lab/etc experience (because the worst experiences make the best stories)?

  15. Brian permalink
    August 27, 2007 9:07 pm

    thanks for your input Kim…that’s a good point…we could, for the first installment of this carnival, all answer the question “Why I study ____” or “Why I find _____ so fascinating”.

    This might be a good way for those who are participating to show off their discipline and interests.

    Any thoughts from anybody else?

  16. Miguel Vera permalink
    August 27, 2007 11:19 pm

    I’ve been following the conversation on the subject and I think the carnival is a great idea (and “the accretionary wedge” a great name).

    I’d really like to be a part of this, though I feel the same as Kim. If you do go with the plates theme, then whenever you get to the Nazca or South American plate I guess I can try and participate :)

  17. CJR permalink
    August 28, 2007 1:40 am

    Maybe the first edition should be subtitled ‘introducing the geoblogosphere’ theme – we could all talk about our area of study, how we ended up as geologists, and why we think geology is so cool…

  18. Brian permalink
    August 28, 2007 8:22 am

    Sweet…I think the ‘introducing’ theme is a good one for the first edition of ‘The Acc. Wedge’.

    I will draft up a ‘call for posts’ today.

    If anybody has any idle time and wants to fool around w/ a simple logo for The Accretionary Wedge…go for it.

  19. November 26, 2008 12:41 am

    Hi Brian,

    I think I might like to be a contributer. Had 38 years experience with a lot of that in the field, CA.,TX., WY.,OK.,& AK.. Special interest, Thin Skinned Tectonics. Carnival is a fine idea. For a name, how about Ocean Floor Sweeping? or Connie Drifts? or maybe even Alfred’s Revenge?


  20. November 26, 2008 1:05 am

    The Accretionary Wedge

    Hi Brian,

    I originally studied geology because I wanted an outdoor job. I study geology now because I love it. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you finally pry a secret out of that “reluctant to tell” Mother Nature. Here’s wishing all who participate in the carnival, “Good Drifting.”


  21. November 26, 2008 3:41 am

    Banjoman … as you can see, this thread is from Aug 2007 … this carnival has been going on (almost) every month since then:

    You can read more than a year’s worth there.

  22. November 27, 2008 11:36 pm

    I’m just an old fashioned geologist and don’t have a BLOG so can’t host a thing. I only know about a lot of geological outcrops and oil fields where the geology leaves everyone scratching their heads, looking for an interpretation. Mt. Bupto, in Alaska for an example. Your subjects seem fairly far out. In my book, geologists are charged with figuring out how the Earth works. Any interest in fundamentals?

  23. November 30, 2008 4:23 am

    Banjoman … I can’t speak for everybody, but many of thos participating in the blog carnival don’t see it as a vehicle for fundamentals … there are plenty of venues for that (conferences, peer-reviewed literature, etc.). We sort of use it to discuss geology-related topics that may have a personal, cultural, or societal aspect. Additionally, the ‘blogosphere’ spans a broad range of experience (from first-year undergrads to tenured faculty to interested laypeople) and disciplines (volcanology, paleomag, structure, sed, etc.). Trying to decide on a specific fundamental topic has proved to be a bit challenging.

    That said, it doesn’t mean we couldn’t use The Accretionary Wedge to discuss fundamentals. Any ideas on how you would envision that?

    (p.s. sorry your comment to pop up for a few days, I was traveling)


  1. A call for posts for the inaugural edition of The Accretionary Wedge: Why do you study geology? « Clastic Detritus

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