Calabrian Arc Project Archives - State of the Planet

Connecting Young and Old

Nano and I took the train to Rome to meet a colleague for lunch, and after we explored the old city. I have been through Rome a number of times, making my way to and from Calabria, but this was my first time really seeing the city. Nano was a fantastic tour guide. He was… read more

by |June 29, 2010

Hiking Monte Pollino

I grew up in a family that drove on vacations, be it six hours to the beach, eight hours to see relatives, or three days to Idaho. So the seven hour drive from Calabria to Rome is no big deal, although the lack of air conditioning does make it undesirable. When I tell my friends… read more

by |June 28, 2010

Fitting Calabria through a Rocky Doorway

One of the challenges of studying the Calabrian subduction zone is the enormous variation over relatively short distances. Etna is located just 120 kilometers from Stromboli, yet the volcanoes have completely different sources of magma. Fluvial conglomerates in the Crotone Basin have lots of chert, yet conglomerates of the same age just 15 kilometers to… read more

by |June 27, 2010

A Home Away From Home

After the memorable trip up Mount Etna, Nano went to the Southern Apennines, while my parents and I made the familiar trip (for me, anyway) across the Sila and into the Crotone Basin. I raved to my parents about the great beaches and wonderful swimming in the Ionian Sea; I reminisced about my time on… read more

by |June 25, 2010
At 11,000 feet, Mount Etna is tall enough to have snow in June. Credit: Meg Reitz.

Etna’s Changing Landscape

Boris and Alfio, geologists at Sicily’s National Institute of Geophyscis and Volcanology picked us up in their four-wheel drive jeeps. Etna is a stunning image. She rises 3,300 meters right from the seafloor, towering over the towns located around her flanks, providing fertile land for farming and beautiful hiking and skiing. Alfio calls her their… read more

by |June 24, 2010

Analyzing Mount Etna’s Lava

Italy has some of the most famous volcanoes in the world: Vesuvius, Stromboli, and Vulcano all lie in a chain along Italy’s western coast. Scientists have found that these volcanoes are all intricately linked to the subduction of the Ionian Sea beneath southern Italy, Calabria, and Sicily. An oceanic plate contains rocks that have a… read more

by |June 22, 2010

A Dry Mediterranean

The Crotone Basin accumulated sediments for nine million years before the forearc uplifted above sea level. Each layer of sand, clay, and conglomerate in the basin contains information about the environment at the time that layer was deposited. About six million years ago, halite and gypsum were deposited in the Crotone Basin. Geologists refer to… read more

by |June 11, 2010

Travels through the Crotone Basin

The climate of the Crotone Basin is marked by cold, wet winters and hot, dry summers. We arrived last year, on our first trip, in the middle of a six-month drought that lasted from April to September. I love how life figures out a way to flourish. Flowers in a riverbed; Snails on a thorn… read more

by |June 9, 2010

Same Road, Different Obstacle

Last year I was collecting a sample of sediment from a riverbed and spent the day walking up the Neto River to find a good location. When I finished, I noticed a road high on one side of the valley. I climbed to the road and found a tunnel with no lights inside. I looked… read more

by |June 6, 2010

How the Toe of Italy’s Boot Evolved

Nano and I have arrived in the Crotone Basin, where we’re staying in a place that Italians call an “agriturismo,” which is like a bed and breakfast that also serves lunch and dinner. Our little place is unique even among agriturismos. It is called Canciumati (can-chew-ma-tea), a house with four generations living under one roof…. read more

by |May 31, 2010