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 rhymebrain.com. 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.

Working Inside

We have spent a lot of time out of doors over the last couple weeks but as we cover more and more area we are starting to spend some more time on the computer. The evenings of last week and today’s rainy Monday were good opportunities to get some serious debate in over polygons and map details.

Soon, once we have some more detailed polygons, I’ll post the work in progress. For now, here are some images of us in debate and working together on drawing some lines… We project the map on the wall so all four of us can work together.

Mapping with the input of four different people can be incredibly challenging.

Here is Heather at the control center and we call this person the “driver” because using ArcGIS is like driving an 18-wheeler. Or so I think.

Peter added his thoughts from the eastern side of the peninsula.

That’s all for now from Shortridge! More to come soon!