Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hazards of Geology Field Work

Thanks to Magma Cum Laude for the excellent post on what we learn from geotrips! In sort of the same vein I offer the comprehensive list of everything that can go wrong on a geo-outing. I stole the idea some time back from a magazine ad for a water purification system, but I have continued to add new hazards as they emerge. I would be glad to add some of yours! If Murphy's Law applies, maybe by knowing every possible thing that could happen, maybe we can avoid them (fat chance...).

Here they are, in no particular order:

Geologic Hazards
volcanic eruption
sudden geyser eruptions
dark cold twisting confusing cave
sinkholes
earthquake
aftershock
foreshock
flashfloods
quicksand
cliffs
falling stalactites
jutting stalagmites
waterfalls
lava
falling rocks
avalanche
slippery rocks
mudslide
loose rock
landslide

Pseudoscientific and Mythological Hazards
ghosts
alien abduction
Sasquatch
trolls, dragons and elves

Road Hazards
busted hose, fanbelt
dead van battery
broken exhaust manifold
flat tire
multiple flat tires on same vehicle
Winnebagos
tourists
boy scouts

Technology Hazards
holes in rock sample bag
flying rock chips
knife accident
cave-ins
helicopter crash
bear trap
vertical mineshafts

Bodily Hazards
ptomaine poisoning
sunstroke
heat exhaustion
dehydration
skin stuck on seat vinyl
body appendages caught in van doors
broken limbs
Ill-fitting shoes
brain cramps
muscle cramps
bad hair day
1st degree burns
2nd degree burns
3rd degree burns
body odor
slivers
mountain sickness
windburn
heartburn
bedsores
salmonella poisoning

Psychological Hazards
personality conflicts
psychotic episodes
romance
claustrophobia
agoraphobia
militia uprisings
suncrazed new-agers

Meteorological Hazards
microbursts
blizzard
hail
high humidity
ozone depletion
windchill
lightning
sandstorms
thin ice
sheet ice
monsoon
global warming
drought

Bureaucracy and Logistics
lost students
No fee waiver
No campsite reservations
group campgrounds
Grouchy park rangers
Officious park rangers
Really ballistic park rangers
outhouse
no outhouses
no toilet paper
not enough TP

Extraterrestrial Hazards
cosmic radiation
comet collision
black holes
UV radiation

Animal Hazards
deer-car collisions (see also Road Hazards)
Beasties with large nasty teeth
cone-nosed kissing bugs
red army ant attack
leeches
marauding raccoons
flying cow chips
slugs
spiderwebs
horseflies
territorial grouse
small snakes
big snakes
multiple snakes
buffalo stampedes
black widows
alligators (Permian)
crocodiles (also Permian)
midges
no-see- ums
hawks
waterborne microorganisms
dust mites
cattle stampedes
amorous moose
skunks
porcupines
pack of coyotes
ticks
bears
scorpions
vultures
deerflies
skinny dippers
Chicks-o-death
Tyrannosaurus Pecks (large aggressive roosters)

Plant and Protists Hazards
pollen
poison ivy, oak, sumac
stinkweed
thorns
thistles
protruding roots

5 comments:

Silver Fox said...

Hole in rear differential.
Rear driveline drops off at U-joint...

That's a great, all-encompassing list, btw.

Silver Fox said...

Oh, and both problems fixed by duct tape.

Tuff Cookie said...

Add llamas to the road and animal hazards sections. Parts of Utah, for some reason, are infested with pack llamas.

Anonymous said...

Addition of cut brake line to road hazards, which, incidently happened on my last geoadventure. Thankfully, we made is safely though the mountains and were only 5 miles from campus (going about 5 mph) when the brakes finally gave way. We had apparently been leaking brake fluid for about 1000 miles. Bummer.

andrew said...

What about hangovers?