Mis:tique II : Fault Propagation Fold, Broadhaven

broadhaven fault propagation fold

I’ve blogged briefly about this structure before here in my list of places that all geologists should visit in the UK. It is the quite spectacular Variscan fault propagation fold and Broadhaven, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

As the thrust in the middle of the section propagates up through this sequence of Upper Carboniferous sandstones and mudstones it folds them ahead of the thrust tip. Eventually, the thrust cuts through the fold, separating the hangingwall anticline from the footwall syncline.

I’ve already previewed our MIS:TIQUE project, attempting to use gigapan technology to help provide alternative geological learning experiences for mobility impaired students. I am giving a presentation on this topic at Keele University’s annual teaching innovation day on Friday so I’ve been working on the data that was collected over the Easter vacation.

One of the main reasons in getting my own domain and hosting this blog myself was the previous inability to insert gigapans and the like into blog posts when using wordpress.com – with a hosted version of wordpress this is now possible.
A full screen version can be found here.

This is one of the two gigapans than I have shot of this structure. This was shot hand held with my Canon 5D and stitched using Canon stitching software. I was experimenting a bit with this one just to see what it would turn out like with automatic focus and exposure. I think it turns out quite well and is sharper than the one I took with the Canon G10 on fixed focus and exposure and using the gigapan robotic mount which you can find here.

I also experimented by uploading all of the images from both cameras into photosynth, and again I’m quite pleased with the results which can be seen below.

The full photosynth can be found here.


Apologies for the blogging hiatus due to marking and other administrative work. In the meantime here are some pictures of the English spring time…

Ashridge Herts Spring

Ashridge Herts Spring 2

10,000 Thank Yous

I’m not one particularly given to blog stat pron, but today I had my 10,000th page hit, which I think is a bit of a milestone for this humble blog. The WordPress blog stat graph makes for some interesting viewing.


Although I ‘claimed’ my blog back in August 2006 when I was starting something else, the Hypo-theses blog started properly in February 2007. Having acquired the internet ‘handle’ of hypocentre I thought that hypo-theses made a witty title that could be looked at on two different levels – suppositions & proposals as well as hypo’s dissertations on a particular topic.

I was (and still am occasionally) a contributor to Geology Rocks, a British geology internet forum. In February 2007 the forum host introduced blogs to the site and I started pontificating. I duplicated the material on the WordPress platform hoping for a more general audience. This proved to be the case and the blog has been WordPress only since April of this year.

The stats graph shows that I was generating about one to two hits a day until February of this year when two things happened. One was the Market Rasen earthquake, and by posting a seismogram I generated tens of hits from the UK. The second was the entry to the geoblogosphere with inclusion on Chris’ allgeo google reader feed. The jump in background level of page hits is quite noticeable at this time.

The earthquakes in Sichuan, China and Selfoss, Iceland, and Southern Greece all caused traffic spikes.

Of the non-earthquake related posts, the one on importing undergraduate geological maps into Google Earth has proven to be most popular.

Coming to the end of 2008 I appear to be an established denizen of the geoblogosphere with my random musings (along with several others) being regarded worthy of incorporation by the Regator blog aggregator. So 10,000 thank yous for stopping by, and, if you have been, thank you for reading.

That was the year that was … 2008

Following DrugMonkey‘s (and all the usual suspects) meme of reposting first lines of each month’s first blog entries here is the year according to hypocentre.

January. (No post … only resumed after a blogging hiatus ended in February)

February. Boy’s Toys

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m into gadgets.

March. Do Geologists Have A Death Wish?

Two incidents though do spring to mind from my younger, more reckless days.

April. Pembrokeshire Geology

As most of the geoblogosphere has been posting images from their spring field excursions I suppose I’d better post some of mine.

May. Back to (Field) School

Last weekend I attended a field based meeting on Innovation in Fieldwork Teaching in geographical, Earth and environmental sciences down in deepest Devon.

June. Geology in Art – Glen Tilt

Despite the vast potential of the field I’ve been having a few problems with this, largely because I’m a cultural Philistine and have a limited grounding in art and literature, but also because John has requested that we try to dig up as much background as possible on the origin of the work and possible influences on the artist.

Map, Glen Tilt, Tayside by John Clerk of Eldin

July. Before ‘Intelligent Design’ was Intelligent Design

Before I start this post I think I need to point out that I don’t believe in ‘Intelligent Design’ creationism.

Bateman\'s geological gallery at Biddulph Grange

August. One Geology / Google Earth Mash-up

Thanks to Alessia Maggi over at Sismordia – Seismology at Concordia for the heads-up that the OneGeology map portal [Note currently IE6/7; Firefox 2 (not 3) only] can export geology maps to Google Earth.

September. Cut to the Chase

The good news is that I’ve been given a grant to compile a geological trail for Cannock Chase, Staffordshire, UK.

Satnalls Hills Quarry

October. Geology and Beer

It was Dave Schumaker’s post over at Geology News on the use of Eocene yeast extracted from the gut of a weevil trapped in amber to make beer that has inspired my to write a post on the two subjects closest to my heart (well, at least my liver) – geology and beer.

November. Do you know your crozzle from your hussle?

I’ve been working on my latest geotrail and doing some reading in old geological memoirs

December. Keele Hall’d

A fine winter’s day on Keele University campus.

Keele Hall

All in all, quite a diverse year.

Who are you?

I’m coming out.

In following up a comment on Kim’s blog via e-mail I was asked “who are you?”.

This set me thinking about why I have been blogging anonymously, and do I still want to keep it that way.

When I started this blog, I used it as a stress release mechanism. Fuelled by a couple of fluid inclusions in amorphous silica (of the Chilean red variety) I would let fly at random targets. Global warming was one of them. It was fun playing devil’s advocate.

But blogging that way was not compatible with having an official lecturing position in a university, and while I still don’t have much of a career to damage, I wanted my rantings to remain anonymous.

Fifty odd blog posts and a few years on, things have changed. I have attained a place on the holy grail of the geoblogosphere, an entry on the allgeo google feed. I get 20-30 hits a day even if I don’t post anything. My posts have (I hope) become generally less rant like and more scientific and interesting. I want to discuss things that are related to my research and me. There is now probably more than enough information in my collected blog musings for somebody semi-proficient with a search engine to find out who I am anyway.

So does having a real world identity add gravitas and credibility to a blog? I have a huge admiration of the ‘real’ bloggers, Dave, Kim, Chris, Ron, Callan, Erik, Andrew et al. (my sincere apologies if you have been left out) and I feel it is time to join you.

That is not to say that I have any problems with those who want to stay anonymous. I suspect that those bloggers of a female persuasion might attract more unwanted attention than a male would and different people blog for different reasons. My reasons and blogging have changed and so I’m coming out.

So who am I? I’m Ian Stimpson, and I’ve been lecturing in geophysics and structural geology at Keele University, Staffordshire (about halfway between Manchester and Birmingham) in the UK for over twenty years.

There, I’ve done it, I’ve come out. I suspect in some respects I’ll have to be more careful about what I post in future, the rants will be more mild but in other respects in more posts I hope I can be a bit more free in what I what do say. However, all the opinions in my posts, past, present and future will continue to be all mine and not those of my employer.

In case you are wondering, I’ve removed the (three) global warming rants, not that I don’t stand by what I said at the time, but I (and the evidence) have moved on (although I still have reservations about the process of global warming politics) and I feel that they no longer have a place on this blog. They are probably in some search engine cache anyway if you really want to find them.

By the way, I’ve adopted a new anonymous identity elsewhere in case I feel like a really good rant!