This website is dedicated to sharing the on going research endeavors of four geology students and one geology professor at Bates College in Lewiston, ME.

Lead by Professor Dyk Eusden, four students are embarking on the capstone project of their undergraduate years: a senior thesis. The research will take place on Small Point, a headland just east of Casco Bay in Maine from the end of June to the beginning of August.


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I am sitting in the Imaging Center working on my thesis: for now that means reading through really dense papers about Appalachian orogenic belts. Joy of joys.

Okay, it isn’t that bad, but I’d rather be outside on this beautiful day.

Anyway, here I am shedding tears and drops of sweat over 50 page papers on Silurian suture keys when I come across this gem: “It marks where the Ordovician Tetagouche-Exploits ensimatic back-arc basin (TEB), which opened within the leading peri-Gondwanan Gander terrain, finally closed.” Besides the mouthful of ancient geologic events and geographic places there is only one word that stumped me. Ensimatic. Solution? Google.

Double take. Fourth hit.  “Rhymes with ensimatic…” What?! Of course that is why I am looking up this really arcane, unused word, Google. Of course. Unable to move any further without clicking on this gem of a link I succumbed to taking a little break.

And let me tell you, it was enlightening.  There are 76, yes!, seventy-six, words that rhyme with ensimatic according to Which is, well, amazing, because I would so much rather be writing poetry about rocks than an annotated bibliography.

Laurentia is just chilling in the west,
Not knowing, a back-arc basin is doing its best:
To move on over and collide is its quest.
Its movement is swift because its ensimatic,
When it hits, it will be problematic,
Because this back-arc basin is pretty erratic.


And now, Google has proved far more of a distraction than what would be considered a normal work break. Back to the annotated bibliography I go…


P.S. After looking up “simatic” I was able to deduce that ensimatic means that the back-arc basin is perched on the lowest layer of the Earth’s crust, which is rich in both silica and magnesium and usually contains a high about of basaltic magma. Hopefully that is what it means because if I have to look up more words I might begin writing an ode.

  1. Working Inside Leave a reply
  2. Measuring Rocks? Leave a reply
  3. Our workday office… 1 Reply
  4. Research Day One – On the Marsh Leave a reply
  5. Just a Note about the Future Leave a reply
  6. Getting the Goods Leave a reply
  7. Small Point Field Day with the “Mapping and GIS” Class Leave a reply
  8. First Steps Leave a reply