Yellowstone Park

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Yale had one of the better geology departments in the world, and its interests were commensurately global. It was syllogistic, encyclopedic, and stirred its students to extended effort-causing him to disappear into the library for months on end in what he calls his golden years. It was a department preoccupied with the Big Picture, and as a result it was not overcrowded with people who had seen a lot of outcrops. That, at any rate, is how it seemed to a student who had seen almost nothing but outcrops-close at hand, or slowly turning from the perspective of a saddle. In no way did this distinction diminish the reverence he felt for these eastern petrologues. “Their field geology was, let’s say, incomplete,” he will remark tenderly. He did his field work in exceptionally rugged country-in the Tetons for a time, during those grad-school summers, but mainly along the southern margin of the Absaroka Range, roughly a hundred miles northwest of the ranch. He chose an area of about three hundred thousand acres (five hundred square miles) with intent to zakelijke energie vergelijken develop an understanding of it sufficient for the completion of a doctoral thesis. Geologically, it was a blank piece of the earth. Virtually nothing was known. The area had been mapped topographically. He took the map with him. Some of its streams ran uphill. The Absarokas, it seemed, were a multilayered pile of pyroclastic debris-sedimentary rock whose components had once been volcanic outpourings. It was material that-after hardening-had been crumbled by weather and collected and moved by streams. The Absaroka volcanic sediments were a local part of the vast fill that had buried the central Rocky Mountains-a hard and therefore durable part. Their huge zakelijke energie boulders indicated close proximity to the vents from which the rock had poured. (On a relief map, the.Absarokas seem to spill out of Yellowstone Park.) During the Exhumation of the Rockies, the durability of these formations had left them in place. They resemble a battlement, standing seven thousand feet above the adjacent plains.

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