Misconception – Paleontology and Archaeology are the Same Thing

Next Wednesday is the first day of the 73rd annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP). In honor of that great event, and on the same theme as my other misconceptions posts, I’m writing this to correct one of two common misconceptions about paleontology.

Misconception – Paleontology and archaeology are the same thing Continue reading

Misconception – Paleontology is the Study of Dinosaurs and Nothing More

Next Wednesday is the first day of the 73rd annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP). In honor of that great event, and on the same theme as my other misconceptions posts, I’m writing this to correct one of two common misconceptions about paleontology.

Misconception – Paleontology is the study of dinosaurs. That is, one cannot be a paleontologist unless he or she studies dinosaurs Continue reading

No Really, Not All Rivers Flow South – Niagara Falls

This is a little mini-rant. Remember this post from last week, in which I explain that rivers can, in fact, flow north? I was working on a little post for today describing the concept of knickpoints and rivers. It turns out Niagara Falls is a great example of this.

It turns out also that most likely all the satellite views of Niagara Falls you’ve seen on the Internet are oriented wrong. Continue reading

Misconceptions – Rivers Flow Passively over the Surface of the Earth

There are many misconceptions about geological concepts. There is a list here, developed by Kent Kirby of the University of Minnesota. This post is to debunk a few of those misconceptions. There will be others. Find them here.

Misconception: Streams are simply flowing water

Misconception: Rivers do not carve valleys, but only passively flow down them

Misconception: Although rivers can cut down over time, they do not cut to the sides Continue reading

Misconception – Rivers Flow South

There are many misconceptions about geological concepts. There is a list here, developed by Kent Kirby of the University of Minnesota. This post is to debunk one of those misconceptions. There will be others. Find them here.

Misconception: Rivers flow south – sometimes modified to rivers in northern hemisphere flow south, while those in southern hemisphere flow north Continue reading

Misconception – The Earth’s core is hollow, or that large hollow spaces occur deep within Earth

There are many misconceptions about geological concepts. There is a list here, developed by Kent Kirby of the University of Minnesota. This post is to debunk one of those misconceptions. There will be others. Find them here.

Misconception: Earth’s core is hollow, or that large hollow spaces occur deep within Earth Continue reading

Misconceptions – Rocks and Minerals

There are many misconceptions about geological concepts. There is a list here, developed by Kent Kirby of the University of Minnesota. This post is to debunk some of those misconceptions. There will be others. Find them here.

Misconceptions:

A. Rocks (and minerals) grow.

B. Coarse-grained rocks are rough, fine-grained rocks are smooth

C. Coarse-grained sedimentary rocks cooled slowly, coarse-grained igneous rocks formed in areas of high depositional energy, etc.

D. With minerals, the term ‘massive’ texture means that the samples are big. Continue reading