A Montage of Geologic Mini-Wonders

A Montage of Geologic Mini-Wonders
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The World’s Greatest Geological Wonders
Geological wonders are like great works of art. They are impressive, beautiful, mysterious, and surprising. Whether you are planning your next vacation or exploring the world from home, this course is your gateway to an unrivaled adventure. By the time you complete this course, you will have experienced more than…
Galapagos Rift—Wonders of Mid-Ocean Ridges
Continue your study of phenomena associated with plate tectonics by visiting the Galapagos Islands, made famous by Charles Darwin. This magnificent archipelago is on a volcanic hotspot near a mid-ocean ridge, formed by moving tectonic plates. Natural wonders abound in the region, both above and below water.
Planetary Wonders—Out of This World
Tour some of the amazing geological features beyond Earth, among them planet-circling lava flows on Venus and the solar system's largest volcano and canyon on Mars. Close with the hydrocarbon lakes on Saturn's moon Titan, proving that there is no end to geological wonders throughout the cosmos.
The Maldives—Geologic Paradox
Home to some of the world's most beautiful beaches, the Maldives in the Indian Ocean show the tranquil end-stage of ocean islands built on hotspots. The volcanoes beneath this coral reef archipelago are long since dormant, and the islands themselves barely rise above sea level.
Great National Parks of Australia
Australia has some of the most spectacular, diverse and unique scenery in the world. This documentary explores six national parks, capturing the beauty, history and human impact on these areas. Featured are the marine wonderlands of the Great Barrier Reef, the rainforest splendour of the Daintree and Queensland's wet tropics.…
Santorini—Impact of Volcanic Eruptions
Learn Professor Wysession's criteria for choosing more than 200 different geologic wonders in nearly 120 countries. Then explore the first on his list: the beautiful Greek island of Santorini, which is the relic of a volcanic eruption that had a profound effect on the ancient Mediterranean world.
Mount Fuji—Sleeping Power
Turn from eruptions to volcanoes themselves--in particular, Mount Fuji in Japan, a sacred site whose nearly perfect cone shape is a popular subject in Japanese art. Investigate the origin of volcanoes such as Mount Fuji and the special conditions that produce their sturdy symmetrical cones.
African Rift Valley—Cracks into the Earth
Visit the African Rift Valley, a mid-ocean ridge in the making. From the Red Sea to Mount Kilimanjaro, tectonic forces are splitting Africa apart, forming a new ocean in the process. This impressive valley is also the site of many fossil discoveries relating to early humans.
Erta Ale—Compact Fury of Lava Lakes
Zoom in on a remarkable feature of the African Rift Valley: the lava lake at Erta Ale in Ethiopia. This seething cauldron of molten rock is the oldest of the world's five active lava lakes, and it replicates on a small scale the complex process of plate tectonics.
Burgess Shale—Rocks and the Keys to Life
Chart the evolution of life revealed in the extraordinary fossils of the Burgess Shale in British Columbia. This mountainside quarry records the proliferation of new organisms--both familiar and bizarre--that followed a mass extinction half a billion years ago.
The Grand Canyon—Earth’s Layers
Read the incredible story told in the mile-deep layers of the Grand Canyon. Investigate the canyon's formation and its connection to the opening of the Gulf of California and the birth of the San Andreas Fault. Also consider what gives the canyon its extraordinary visual effect.
The Himalayas—Mountains at Earth’s Roof
What makes the highest mountains in the world so high? Follow the events that created Mount Everest and the rest of the Himalayan range on the vast Tibetan Plateau. Learn the role of the plateau in cooling the entire planet over the last 60 million years.