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Urban Geology: Artists Investigate Where Cities and Natural Cycles Intersect [Slide Show]

Excerpts from a new book reveal the "geo-architecture" of New York City

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Rich Seam: an underground layer of a valuable mineral waiting to be found

In the past 170 years, New Yorkers have lovingly tucked the bones of nearly 600,000 people beneath the glacier-carved hills of Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery. Given the cemetery's current population, more than 655,000 kilograms of calcium have come to rest within its serene Pleistocene epoch landscape.....[ More ]

Moraine: a mound of unsorted till, deposited by ice action or melting of a glacier

Up to 215,000 metric tons of salt from the Chilean desert are heaped into piles each year at various storage facilities throughout the city, resulting in 44 desert moraines. These Miocene epoch–aged tons of crystallized time mix with fresh snow and quietly dissolve into meltwater on their way to sewer drains.....[ More ]

Resource Extraction: the removal of valuable minerals or other geologic materials from an ore body,

Jumbled heaps of metal found in scrap yards can be seen as composed of time travelers that have converged on the planet from unknowable points in deep space. Copper, common to scrap yards, is one of the 94 naturally occurring elements on Earth.....[ More ]

Fumarole: a vent that emits hot gases, usually associated with activity of Earth's magma

Vaporous exhalations rising from manholes signal the presence of a powerful subterranean beast: the world's largest commercial steam system. Made from paleowater heated by fossil fuels, the steam is channeled through a labyrinth of buried pipes, heating more than 100,000 establishments.....[ More ]

Hydrocarbons: fossilized organic matter, capable of being made into plastics and fuels

New York City taxis are primordial bodies on the move, from the paint that coats their exteriors down to the fossil fuels that power them. A synthetic paint color named DuPont M6284, or "taxi yellow," adorns all NYC taxis.....[ More ]

Brownstone National Park: dwellings made from blocks of Triassic and Jurassic sandstone populate a n

Apartment buildings made of sandstone from the late Triassic and early Jurassic periods shelter us and comprise some of the most visual environments in New York City. This sandstone is the result of a 200-million-year journey that began when dinosaurs first started to evolve.....[ More ]

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