looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

The Great Unconformity

Reading the local paper can pay off in unexpected ways. One week this little article popped up in the "Living" section: "Geological Site sheds light on Las Vegas Valley's Past".

It turns out that there is something in geological circles known as the Great Unconformity. I'll let hydrogeologist Nick Saines (http://members.aol.com/saines1/Unconf.html) describe it: "The Great Unconformity is the contact between the Precambrian and the Cambrian - a gap of 1.2 billion years - one fourth of the age of the Earth. It is not just the time missing that makes the Great Unconformity great; after all, Precambrian granite overlain by Recent alluvium or dune sand has a greater time gap. No, the Great Unconformity, as named by one of my heroes - Major John Wesley Powell - in 1869, is the contact between the Primeval World (when life was mostly single-celled creatures), and the world in which the continents and the life upon them really began to evolve."

Pretty cool stuff. It turns out, this unique geological feature can be seen in only a few places. One of them is at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Another is 100 yards off Lake Mead Boulevard.

It seems that the mountains at one side of the Las Vegas Valley were created through an interesting process that results in the exposure of this very early portion of strata.

After reading this article, I suggested to Lisa that we drive out there and take a look at it. It's not every day you get to put your finger on the Great Unconformity.

So we did, and afterwards we walked to the top of the hill and got a good view of the Las Vegas Valley.

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