While there were no U.S. mine fatalities in 2009, this year’s toll is already too large. The various states agencies and the federal government provide inspections and enforcement of regulations. But death and injury still continue to occur in mines. May I suggest a regulation that requires the CEO of the mining company to personally inspect each mine at least once per quarter and the next tier of management at least once per month. By inspection, I am not talking about a photo-op, above-ground visit. What I had in mind was a trip to the mine face, up-close and personal. It is possible that this would bring additional focus on the safety and conditions in the mine.
While looking for information on “splines”, I stumbled over an interesting article in the Community Resources section of the Resources Tab for the Geology Department of Portland State University. The pdf file is a Self-guided tour of Portland, Oregon’s geology. This field trip provides an introduction to the geology of the Portland, Oregon, area. Five field trip stops, all accessible by public transportation and walks of easy to moderate difficulty, provide opportunities to see outcrops of Columbia River Basalt, Troutdale Formation, Boring volcanic field flow and vents, Portland Hills Silt, and a small landslide. I have never had a chance to visit the Northwest but might like to some day. This paper is an exciting chance to visit the neighborhood of Mt. St. Helens vicariously. And a way to spend a day or two out and about in the Portland area.
Also exciting is the description of the floods in the Portland area on 20-15 thousand years ago. Water levels 150m higher than current sea level! What short memories humans have. Maybe the geologists should buy the climatologists a cup of coffee and fill them in on life on earth.
A friend at work loaned me the book that I am reading now. A Geologic Trip Across Tennessee by Interstate 40 by Harry L. Moore. This is part of the Outdoor Tennessee Series. This book appears to still be available and if you are a travel, outdoor, hiking, geology, or history buff in the southeast, you might enjoy this book. I happen to like geology and hiking. While I am not fond of driving, I like to know the trerrain I am driving through. If you are travelling through Tennessee and looking out the window, this book will give you a good idea of things to watch for in the landscape and as you look at the ground underneath you.