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Ripple Topography
Can't say I've fully grasped the science behind cross-bedding yet, but I was quickly and fully hypnotized by these computer animations of sedimentary migration and deposition. Some screen caps follow.

I'll assume that everyone will download and watch them on a continuous trance-inducing loop.

Cross-bedding

Cross-bedding

I wonder if you can harness energy from these land migrations and conceive a park out of it: a terrestrial version of the Wave Garden. Just settle yourself atop a dune, watch landscapes after landscapes pass by, and at the end of your picnic, you find yourself on the other side of the continent.

Cross-bedding

Cross-bedding

You can, in fact, download the bedform simulation software, supposedly the same one used to produce the animations, to create your own rippling topography.

Such as these:

Cross-bedding

Cross-bedding

Cross-bedding

Obviously, it brings up interesting scenarios of landscape architects, in drunken stupors at 3 in the morning, downloading the software to design their own sinuous landforms. Perhaps as a gag, to throw off the visiting critic. Or to one-up Michael van Valkenburgh and Kathryn Gustafson, ending their monopoly on tumuli earthforms. Or perhaps a moment of inspired experimentation. But most likely because they simply can't navigate their way through formZ or Maya or even AutoCAD inebriated.

And just to add a bit more oddity (or realism) to the scenario, imagine them sprinkling a few digitized models of Classical architecture into the simulation and laughing, still drunk, at their fixed proportions and rigid geometry rapidly crumbling, dissolving in the ever shifting landscape.

4 COMMENTS —
  • Geoff Manaugh
  • January 4, 2006 at 3:01:00 PM CST
  • Plug this directly into an engineered landscape, huge platforms, hinged, motorized, moving beneath the soil: then throw away your VCR.

    It's Pruned's Earth-TV®.


  • leah
  • January 5, 2006 at 7:11:00 AM CST
  • for poetry's sake, it's probably worth mentioning the opening few pages of italo calvino's book, "mr. palomar." the protagonist scrupously watches waves, trying to isolate one wave from the rest and catalogue everything he possibly can about a wave's different stages, different ways of moving, of interacting with other waves, of hitting the shore. of course, it's fairly impossible (but calvino doesn't leave us feeling negative). maybe this could help!


  • Geoff Manaugh
  • January 8, 2006 at 9:52:00 PM CST
  • The great land-wave. Earth-tsunami. A huge rolling crest of roots and soil - blam! Smashing into the eastern wall of Manhattan. Rock-tide.

    Calvino should've been a geotechnician. Or maybe he was...


  • mr nosebleed
  • December 26, 2007 at 10:05:00 AM CST
  • oh wow, the poetry of all this...
    my parents actually live in a place so old and geographically eroded that there is nothing but the waves of small hils, one after another, spaced and structured with filds and dirtroads and little ilands of trees.., its like this but it's not moving. whish it would. and it would be even better if one could synchronize the waves in the weat made by the wind with the moving waves of the landscape...


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