Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater

The Chesapeake Bay impact crater was formed by a bolide that impacted the eastern shore of North America about 35 million years ago, in the late Eocene epoch.
 It is one of the best-preserved "wet-target" or marine impact craters, and the largest known impact crater in the U.S. Continued slumping of sediments over the rubble of the crater have helped shape Chesapeake Bay.

What does this have to do with architecture?  Well, in the traditional sense, nothing really.  However, the bay and the Eastern shore are certainly among the grandest creations of a design process that I know of, even though the design is fractal and cataclysmic in origin.  In this light, landscape and geography could then be considered the architecture of nature.

Until 1983, no one suspected the existence of a large impact crater buried beneath the lower part of the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding peninsulas. The first hint was a 20 cm (8 in) thick layer of ejecta that turned up in a drilling core taken off Atlantic City, New Jersey, far to the north. The layer contained the fused glass beads called tektites and shocked quartz grains that are unmistakable signs of a bolide impact.
The continual slumping of the rubble within the crater has affected the flow of the rivers and shaped the Chesapeake Bay. The impact crater created a long-lasting topographic depression, which helped predetermine the course of local rivers and the eventual location of Chesapeake Bay. Most important for present-day inhabitants of the area, the impact disrupted aquifers. The present freshwater aquifers lie above a deep salty brine, making the entire lower Chesapeake Bay area susceptible to groundwater contamination.
I have always been geographically connected to this event, as I grew up on the Susquehanna River in town called Dauphin.  The course of the Susquehanna is in fact probably following a fracture line from this bolide "invader".  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Assateague Island

Assateague Island is a 37-mile (60 km) long barrier island located off the eastern coast of Maryland and Virginia.  It is best known for its herds of feral horses, pristine beaches, and the Assateague Lighthouse.

The island also contains numerous marshes, bays and coves, including Toms Cove

The feral horse population of Assateague Island is alternately known as the Assateague horse in Maryland and the Chincoteague Pony in Virginia. 
The traditional definition of a horse or a pony is based on whether the animal in question falls over or under 14.2 hands(58 inches, 147 cm). The equines on the island tend to be under 14.2, but have a horse phenotype

The southern beach is restricted access at 5 miles to protect endangered species, so it is not possible to walk from the north to the south end on the beach.
Looking south beyond boundary at lone horse
More photos here  Nice waves and swimming, though powerful undercurrents.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cape Henlopen

Cape Henlopen State Park is a 5,193 acre (21 km²) Delaware state park on Cape Henlopen in Sussex CountyDelawareWilliam Penn made the beaches of Cape Henlopen one of the first public lands in 1682 with the declaration that Cape Henlopen would be for "the usage of the citizens of Lewes and Sussex County." Cape Henlopen State Park has a 24-hour and year-round fishing pier as well as campgrounds. The remainder of the park is only open from sunrise to sunset, and includes a bathhouse on the Atlantic Ocean, an area for surf-fishing, a disc golf course, and bicycle lanes, walking paths, and a World War II-era watchtower which is open to the public. The beach at Herring Point is also a popular surfing spot.
Off the coast on the bay side are two lighthouses, called the Harbor of Refuge Light and the Delaware Breakwater East End Light.