The Columbia Geology Tour Archives - State of the Planet

Alma Mater’s Other Secret: a Way Forward on Climate

Sitting on the iconic front steps of Low Library, Alma Mater rests on a plinth that offers a clue to a possible method of carbon sequestration, a vital technology for addressing our problem of too much CO2.

by |October 27, 2014
Squid-like cephalopods ruled the oceans in the Ordovician. Image: University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Watch Your Step: the Alpha Predator of the Ordovician

Frozen into the stone floor of a stairway landing, several flights up in Columbia’s Lewisohn Hall, sits a stark reminder of how life has evolved in the sea. Part 6 of the Columbia Geology Tour.

by |October 20, 2014

Orogenous Zones: How Rock Flows

The architects of Columbia’s modern Northwest Tower, at the corner of Broadway and 120th Street, made good use of some beautiful stones. In their polished and swirling surfaces, they tell a story of the clash of continents and the processes by which mountains are made.

by |October 13, 2014
David Walker leads students and colleagues on a geology tour of Columbia University.

Seeing Red: The Great Oxygenation Event

In Part 4 of the Columbia Geology Tour, David Walker of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory explores the source of the red sandstone of Russell Hall at the Columbia Teachers College on 120th Street.

by |October 6, 2014

At the Corner of Mudd Hall, the Secret of Blue Quartz

How did big crystals of blue quartz get locked into the pink granite of Mudd Hall? David Walker of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory continues his Columbia Geology Tour.

by |September 29, 2014

Building Blocks from the Mississippian Sea

The Columbia Geology Tour, Part 2: Take a trip back 350 million years to the shallow seas of the Mississippian that covered what is now the U.S. Midwest — source of the finely crafted limestone columns and facade details of St. Paul’s Chapel.

by |September 22, 2014
David Walker. Photo: Kim Martineau

The Columbia Geology Tour: Stories in the Stones

For the last decade or so, Columbia University geologist David Walker has led students and colleagues on a tour of the geologic gems hiding within Columbia’s campus. Along the way, Walker finds evidence of how life on Earth has evolved over 4.5 billion years.

by |September 15, 2014