Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Climate Forcings in Ohio

One of the most factors that contributes to weathering of various geologic features is the overall climate of the area. Here in Ohio, we have large swings in temperature and precipitation, making our climate unique. The above graph (found on collected data from the past 40 years and shows the annual ebb and flow of temperature rising to the average high of 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, then dropping to an average low of -5 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. The types of precipitation varies with the time of year with rain and hail falling in the summer months and snow and sleet falling in the winter. Wind speed stays fairly constant throughout the entire year, providing a steady source of wind erosion.

If you are interested about the work that goes into collecting climate data, you can check out the following link about climatologists:

- Evan Amstutz

The geologic surface we see everyday is shaped and weathered largely in part by the type and the amount of precipitation we experience. Ohio experiences a wide range of how much annual average precipitation falls in any given region. The figure seen above (from shows this range and the average total precipitation for each region over a 40 year time period. Springfield is part of the central green band that averages 38-40 inches of total precipitation annually. There are definite wet and dry zones in Ohio, causing a potential difference in the amount of weathering caused by precipitation.

For an animated representation of what precipitation does to the rock surface, check out the link below:

- Andrew Fuss

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tectonic forcings

(I was unable to get the picture off of the PDFs so I just posted the link to cite everything and so that the picture can be seen)

Tectonic forcings are very important to the people of Clark County because of the position that it is currently located and where it was located. Durnig the Silurian time Ohio was below the equator in warm shallow sea and now as everyone can see who lives in Ohio now that is not the case. There are no warm waters anywhere close. This is all due to the shift in the tectonic plates causing land masses to shift.


The link above is a bedrock geologic map of Ohio. This map properly portrays the diverse bedrock geology that exists beneath the surface of the state. This map provides background for citizens of Ohio, who are interested in understanding bedrock geology in their state and own respective counties, such as Clark County, where the map shows during the silurian period, sedimentary rocks, such as, dolomite, anhydrite, gypsum, salt, shale and limestone deposits were formed.


Monday, August 27, 2012

anthropogenic Forces near Us

       ~  Anthropogenic Forces are those that are caused by humans. That can be done by cutting down trees, building bike paths, highways, or just building a house. It is up to us who live around Campus and Springfield, Ohio to be more cautious about what we are doing because it has an impact on the area and the environment. ~
      What do humans do to the environment and to locations near us? Do we think we  are doing the right things and not harming our surroundings? The truth is that actually some of the actions we take do harm the environment. For example, near Buck Creek the Corps of Engineers re-routed the creek in order to form a recreational section for canoeing and Kayaking. 
Settlement Forces:

This is a store built where Kenton lived. 
  Some may wonder how people first arrived and settle around Springfield and Buck Creek. In 1779 Simon Kenton was one of the first families to move with six other people to Buck Creek and Mad River. This changed the area due to them cutting down trees to build houses and to make their little settlement. One may ask how this effected the area? It started with just about 6 families and grew to the population that we have today in Springfield; 60,333 people. Over this time we have built more homes and cut down more trees. This effects the oxygen levels and also destroys ecosystems for organisms that live within the trees. On the Global level we already are losing too many trees. ( source)
Recreational Forces:
     The Clarence J. Brown dam and reservoir is located near Springfield in west central Ohio. The reservoir flows into Buck Creek. The lake is used to reduce flood stages downstream from the dam. The lake is also a provider of water supply storage and operates to increase natural low-flow conditions downstream of the dam. Water quality control is also an interest. Over 4.4 million dollars in flood damages have been prevented thanks to the dam and reservoir. This is a forcing because it is man-made and because it created a water ecosystem that wasn't there previously. 
Blog created by: Shirley and Emilie

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Scale of Observation

Evan sits on top of the piece of the outcrop that has fallen off.
Up closer you can see the swiss cheese markings in the bedrock and the plants and spiders on the surface.
Task one for our class was to observe sites near campus. We looked for evidence of critical zone interactions at distinct scales. For example, from afar we noticed that a piece of bedrock had fallen over and that there were many other fractures in the rock, perhaps pointing to the reason why the rock had toppled. We also noticed that some places were distinct colors, and in cases those rocks appeared stained. At a much closer scale, we noticed the swiss cheese texture of the bedrock and the spiders that hid in dark places.

At the next stops we noticed that Buck Creek had evidence of human manipulation. The manicured lawn we sat on, trash floating in water, the straight channel edge. These converged with nature: water, trees, and muck. How would our hypotheses be different at different scales? Could we ask the same questions if we examined the ground near an invasive shrub by the waters edge as we would ask if we were sampling water flowing in Buck Creek that reflected the signature of the landscape and groundwaters it drained?
The bank of the stream contains vegetation, we wondered if it would be the same 1000 years ago.
Looking downstream we thought about how examining one small plant, or rock, would reveal very different things than collecting water from the entire stream.

Friday, August 24, 2012