Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi, Karnataka

Geologically, the ancient city of Hampi falls on the Archean Dharwar craton in an area composed of volcanosedimentary greenstone contained in a larger region of peninsular gneiss and granites. These are dated to be in the Archean period somewhere between 3.3 and 2.7 billion years old (Moyen et al., 2003).

Tumkur Betta

Tumkur Betta

Many of these small hillocks hosting Archean rocks belonging to the Dharwar Craton are seen outside Tumkur, a city in Karnataka around an hour and a half outside Bangalore.

A Cliff in Creede

A Cliff in Creede

A mining town known for silver deposits, Creede, Colorado is located along the western side of the central San Juan volcanic system, where eruptions have been linked to around 27.8-25.9 Ma ago.

Sawing Coral

Sawing Coral

The inimitable "coral man" Fred Taylor chainsawing a slab of an uplifted (dead) Porites coral head at Lale, Ranongga in the Western Province of the Solomon islands. We were collecting samples to better understand the tectonics of the region.

West Caicos Carbonate

West Caicos Carbonate

Reefal carbonate beach rock at West Caicos, a part of the Pleistocene Caicos platform.

Dunes of Sylt

Dunes of Sylt

Shot on the island of Sylt, the northernmost island of Germany, and largest island in North Frisia. Sylt has a moraine-based origin and is made up of till core. The island has extensive, actively shifting dunes throughout, evocative of the desert planet, Arrakis.

Goan Karst

Goan Karst

Shot at the Bhimgad National Forest looking at Proterozoic limestone.

Texan Rocks

Texan Rocks

Feathered

Feathered

A cloud that looks like a feather, above Proterozoic limestone formations on a warm winter day inside Bhimagad Forest. Shivaji built one of his ~400 forts here, around these caves sometime in the mid-17th century.

Mahanadi Sunset

Mahanadi Sunset

Another resplendent sunset while we were drilling sediments in the Mahandi Basin in the Bay of Bengal.

Little Yellow Boat

Little Yellow Boat

On one of the days out in the Bay of Bengal, close to the Visakhapatnam Coast, a small fishing boat came out to greet us aboard the JOIDES Resolution.

A Streak

A Streak

I spent two months at sea in the Bay of Bengal in the winter of 2014-15 as part of IODP Expedition 353. This was a shot on one of those gloriously cool evenings.

Kolombangara Reefs

Kolombangara Reefs

The active stratovolcano Kolombangara in the western Province is surrounded by small islands such as this one in a lagoon that hosts several scleractinian corals.

Honiara Evening

Honiara Evening

Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, is located on Guadalcanal Island. Climatically, the Solomon Islands are situated under the South Pacific Convergence Zone, one of the largest bands of rainfall on the planet. The convection processes that are at play in the region set up wonderful cloud-laden sunsets such as this one.

Guadalcanal Coast

Guadalcanal Coast

Flying over the northwestern coast of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands as we were about to land in the capital, Honiara.

Ngella Sunset

Ngella Sunset

Shot at Tulagi, Florida Islands.

Cajun Sunset

Cajun Sunset

The northern Gulf of Mexico is an interesting offshore location due to the large numbers of oil rigs in the area. At night, you almost feel like you're in the middle of a city!

Calm Waters

Calm Waters

For a change, we had tranquil seas during the wintertime in the Bay of Bengal.

Pagoda Starling

Pagoda Starling

A Brahminy Starling (Sturnia pagodarum) spotted on top of a pillar at the Vittala Temple during the evening. The scientific name of the Brahminy Starling is Sturnia pagodarum, where 'pagodarum' apparently comes from the species tending to perch on top of south Indian temple pagodas.

Swainson's Hawk

Swainson's Hawk

A Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) spotted close to Creede, Colorado. Swainson's hawk is purported to be the longest migrant of any North American raptor with a flight over 14,000 mi from the United States to southern Brazil or Argentina.

Hanuman's Eyes

Hanuman's Eyes

Spotted at Anjaneya Hill, Hampi.

Coral Perch

Coral Perch

A brown noddy (Anous stolidus) that we spotted close to Mandemangota Island around Kolombangara in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands. Their name derives from the Latin stolidus meaning impassive owing to their utter nonchalance when it came to humans/sailors or predators. The noddy sits atop emerged coralline limestone.

Clasp

Clasp

A male Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) spotted deep inside the jungles of Rendova. Being surrounded by several of these colorful birds in thick vegetation was quite surreal.

California Occidental

California Occidental

A brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) and a western gull (Larus occidentalis) have a day out at the beach to fish in the Pacific Ocean.

American Bittern

American Bittern

I had to be very careful to catch a glimpse of the elusive American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus). This species has a very distinctive call almost sounding like a drop of water which it makes by inflating its oesophagoes with air  - listen here.

Hornbill Roost

Hornbill Roost

Hover

Hover

A Gopura

A Gopura

Krishnadevaraya, one of the prominent kings of the Vijayanagara dynasty that made Hampi its capitol, built this Balakrishna temple in 1513 AD to celebrate his conquest of the Gajapati (rulers of Odisha) king Prataparudra at the siege of Udayagiri (present day Andhra Pradesh). The entire story behind this construction and its purpose (in fairly vivid detail) is inscribed in old Kannada script inside the temple. A gopura is an ornate, vividly intricate towered structure that is characteristic of South Indian temple architecture.

Lotus Mahal, Hampi

Lotus Mahal, Hampi

Uniquely Indo-islamic in its architecture, yet built by the predominantly Vaishnava (Hindu) Vijayanagara Empire, the 'Lotus Mahal' is a prime example of the confluence of religion, culture, and art in medieval south India. 

Vittala Chariot

Vittala Chariot

The famed granite-made chariot at the Vittala Temple in Hampi, Karnataka dates to the 15th century.

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Skewed Symmetry at a Cathedral

Skewed Symmetry at a Cathedral

Originally commenced in 1248, the Cologne Cathedral was finally completed in the 19th century.

Eric Koti

Eric Koti

A crocodile hunter from Ringi, Kolombangara.

Feathered Pets

Feathered Pets

A Solomon Islander from Vonavona Island shows off his pet Cardinal Lory (Chalcopsitta cardinalis). Many Solomon Islanders from the Western Province keep birds as pets: from parrots to cockatoos to starlings.

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