"What a perfect situation for photographic excellence: small dirty scratched windows, absolutely no control over the route, inclement weather conditions, and jetwash distortions. Taking pictures from a commercial airliner is an exercise in futility. And yet, who of the geologists among you has been able to resist the impulse to try to take decent pictures of the geologic phenomena below you on those long, boring flights?"Air routes take you over terrain that you, and practically no one else in the world, can ever visit and the view is unique. The first picture of the series was one of the massive glaciers along the coast of Greenland, a place I would dearly love to see up close, but I just don't see it happening in the present circumstances of my life. So here they are, in the order that they originally appeared:
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles: A two minute break in the clouds on my first international flight allowed me a very brief glance at Greenland's glaciers
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles Part 2: A twilight flight out of Seattle yields a ghostly look at Mt. Rainier (click on the photo to enlarge it; I love the details revealed on the glaciers)
Picture of the Day: The Airliner Chronicles, Part 3: A look at Mt. St. Helens and the Toutle River Valley, site of the devastating 1980 debris avalanche and ash eruption.
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles Part 4 : Mt. Hood, one of the Cascades volcanoes and the tallest mountain in the state of Oregon
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles Part 5 : Mima Mounds in Washington. A marvelous geological mystery!
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles Part 6 : The Three Sisters, Cascade Volcanoes in Oregon
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles Part 7 : Revisiting Mt. Rainier, but in the daytime on a wonderfully clear summer day (again, the best view is to enlarge the photo by clicking on it)
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles Part 8 : The theme changed to glacial landscapes in Canada and Greenland. This photo may have been near Baffin Island, but good luck finding it on GoogleEarth
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles Part 9 : Breaking pack ice in the vicinity of Baffin Island, Canada
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles Part 10 : Kettles and deranged streams in northern Canada
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles Part 11 : A mystery picture!
Airliner Chronicles Follow-Up : A ground-level clue to the previous photo
We have a Winner! An explanation of the mystery shot: the photo shows a massive debris avalanche that destroyed a previous incarnation of the Mt. Shasta composite cone in northern California (kind of a nice view of Mt. Shasta, too)
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles Part 12 : A picture of one one of the more mysterious corners of Washington state, and one of the great detective stories of geological research, the Channeled Scablands
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles Another view of the remnants of one of the great floods of earth history: the Channeled Scablands
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles A flight over the Overthrust Belt near Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles Back to Greenland, where a crevasse field generated a nice web discussion
Picture of the Day - The Airliner Chronicles : Some beautiful valley glaciers and a fjord in Greenland
The Return of the Airliner Chronicles: the Biggest Mountains on the Planet After a long hiatus I came back to the chronicles with a series of Hawaii shots. This one included the giant shields of the Big Island, and Diamond Head on Oahu
The Return of the Airliner Chronicles: the Biggest Mountains on the Planet, part 2 : A pair of photos showing some details of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii
The Return of the Airliner Chronicles: When the Giants Begin to Die : A look at the summit of Haleakala on the Hawaiian island of Maui. It is a giant shield approaching the final stages of activity, miles from the hot spot on which it originated
I've got more in the photo files, so the Chronicles may make some future appearances. I'll update this post if it happens. Hope you enjoyed the journey!
Today's aerial is a close shot of Lassen Peak in northern California. Lassen was the most recent California volcano to erupt, with activity from 1914 to 1917 (the region is still a "hotbed" of geothermal activity). This extraordinarily large dacite plug dome is protected within the boundaries of Lassen Volcanic National Park. The main park highway can be seen snaking along the lower left hand side of the picture.
The Airliner Chronicles: Crater Lake : in honor of my colleagues at GSA this week.
The Return of the Airliner Chronicles: The San Andreas Fault in San Francisco. I finally get a good perspective on the fault zone!