PlanetGeo: The Geology Podcast

PlanetGeo: The Geology Podcast

A Geology and Earth Science Podcast. Join Chris, an award-winning geology teacher, and Jesse, a geoscience professor, in discussing the amazing features of our planet and their impact on your everyday life. No prior knowledge required. New episodes coming at you every week. Listen, subscribe, share with someone you know!

Episodes

September 29, 2022 62 min


This is a link to the video of the Quick Clay Slide at Dissa video Dr. Alley references. This shows what can also happen to a glacier when it loses it's toe-hold as described in this episode.

Dr. Richard Alley is a renowned glaciologist and paleoclimate scientist.  He is also widely regarded as one of the best professors at Penn State University.  Below is a list of his impressive credentials:

  • National Academy of Sciences
  • Foreign ...
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    Dr. Richard Alley is a renowned glaciologist and paleoclimate scientist.  He is also widely regarded as one of the best professors at Penn State University.  Below is a list of his impressive credentials:

  • National Academy of Sciences
  • Foreign Member of the Royal Society
  • Evan Pugh University Professorship
  • Penn State’s top teaching award
  • Presidential Young Investigator Award
  • Earth - the Operator’s Manual - 
  • Briefed senators, international le...
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    September 15, 2022 34 min

    536 AD was not a good year to be to be a human - especially in Eastern Europe.  Below are some written descriptions of what it was like:

  • Michael the Syrian, wrote: "[T]he sun became dark and its darkness lasted for one and a half years [...] Each day it shone for about four hours and still this light was only a feeble shadow [...] the fruits did not ripen and the wine tasted like sour grapes."
  • A prefect of Italy at the time, ...
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    September 8, 2022 22 min

    Canyonlands National Park is the (big) sibling to Arches - the geology is very similar but the view you get on that geology is completely different!

    Here we discuss some of the differences, and give a quick rundown of where to go to see some of that spectacular geology.  

    As always, send us any questions you may have!

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    September 1, 2022 42 min

    Arches are an amazing geologic feature and they occur in very high density in Arches National Park - located in Utah! 

    In this episode we discuss the regional geology of the area, the Paradox Basin, and then get into some of the detailed processes that form arches throughout the park! 

    As always, send us any questions you may have! 

    Like, Subscribe, and leave us a rating! 


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    After a long break from recording, Chris and Jesse return to our studios to discuss our extremely busy summer.  Jesse recaps his trip to Hawaii where he saw some amazing geology.  He also talks about teaching field camp in Idaho to some of the Penn State undergrads.  His favorite though, was continuing his field research in the Northwest Territories of Canada.  He and his PhD student collected over 1,000 pounds of rocks.  When aske...

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    August 18, 2022 38 min

    Sand comes from chemical and/or physical weathering of rocks, and is critically important to our society! 

    Most sand formation begins in the soil - soil has water to further break down the pieces. And the location where sand is formed plays a really important role in how useful sand is for concrete and ceramics.  Most beach sand and desert sand is too rounded to be used! 

    As always, send us any questions you may have! 

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    Today we talk about the basic Principles of Geology - the basic observations that allow us to put geologic events in a relative order of when they occurred.  

    The five principles are 1) Superposition, 2) Original Horizontality, 3) Cross-cutting Relationships, 4) Inclusions, and 5) Correlation/Continuity.

    Armed with these five rules, you can understand a lot more about the history of the world around you! 

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    August 4, 2022 39 min


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    The Earth is old...very old.  But, the Solar System is older! 

    We discuss how we know the age of the Earth, what the age of a planet means anyways, and how planets form! 

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    Thank you Valeria, Chelsea and Natalia for the excellent questions! Keep them coming! 

    Today we answer some of your very interesting geoscience questions ranging from how the moon formed to what's going on in Vinicunca Peru! 

    We talk about the Mendocino Triple Junction, one of the most rapidly rising places on Earth, the magma ocean's that formed the moon, and how sedimentary rocks can get such spectacularly beautiful colorin...

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    Lithium is only becoming more important to our society, and demand for lithium continues to skyrocket since it is used in everything from Tesla batteries to ceramics.  Your phone has ~3g of lithium in it! 

    We cover the geology of lithium in this episode - where it occurs and why!  

    Like, Subscribe, and leave us a Rating! 


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    Thank you Cathy and Matt for the excellent questions!  Cathy sent us a question associated with This Article and Matt asked about Michigan geology (perhaps not knowing the long-winded answer he was in for!).

    We received a TON of excellent questions from you all so we will have a Part 2 coming out soon - stay tuned to hear answers to your questions! 

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    June 30, 2022 32 min

    Devils Tower National Monument is a must see on any road trip in South Dakota! In fact, you can think of Chris Bolhuis while you are listening, as he is currently teaching 26 lucky high school students at Devils Tower at the moment!

    The geology of this amazing spectacle has it all - beautiful sedimentary rocks, unique volcanic rocks, and great columnar joints that make the Tower look utterly striking. 

    Devils Tower is a unique rock c...

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    June 23, 2022 42 min

    Badlands National Park is a spectacular place to visit! If you are traveling to the Rocky Mountains, it is a great stop to get started. 

    Fossils are everywhere in the Badlands National Park, and the rocks have really amazing colorations to them. 

    However, badlands are a geologic feature! There are a few specific things required to form badlands and we discuss those key traits, as well as some of the basic principles of badlands gener...

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    June 16, 2022 62 min

    After Listening back on this episode (both the short and the full interview), my wife and I had a conversation.  I asked her what she thought.  Her reply was that she was full of hope after listening.  Join us as we have an incredible conversation with Ashley Grosh.  She is Vice President of the Breakthrough Energy Fellows program which is designed to find and fund innovators working to bring climate technology solutions to the mar...

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    After Listening back on this episode (both the short and the full interview), my wife and I had a conversation.  I asked her what she thought.  Her reply was that she was full of hope after listening.  Join us as we have an incredible conversation with Ashley Grosh.  She is Vice President of the Breakthrough Energy Fellows program which is designed to find and fund innovators working to bring climate technology solutions to the mar...

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    People often wonder, why can't we date diamonds?  Today, we answer that! 

    Here, we talk through the basics of Carbon Dating, also called RadioCarbon Dating!  Radiocarbon is an awesome technique that also has some really common misconceptions about it.  We go through the basics of this amazing method, with great analogies as usual, and we cover all those misconceptions!

    Carbon dating is a great tool for dating things that were onc...

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    May 26, 2022 22 min

    In todays episode, Jesse and Chris re-visit an idea on GeoScience in the news.  This was fun for us.  We didn't talk before we picked our topics.  We realized that there are so many geoscience topics in the news and that we need to do more of this type of thing.  Here are the links to our articles we chose.  Sit back and enjoy!!

    Link to Chris's Article

    Link to Jesse's article


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    Join us this week for our interview of Dr. Robin George Andrews.  Robin George Andrews is a freelance science journalist based in London. His work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Scientific American, Gizmodo, Atlas Obscura and elsewhere. He trained as a volcanologist, earning a doctorate in the subject, but then realized that telling people stories of spectacular eruptions and off-world scient...

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