Saturday 15 November 2014
Tuesday 21 January 2014
I watched ‘A beautiful Mind’- a movie based on the story of John Nash Jnr. and it inspired me beyond measure. This is because John’s deepest passion for mathematics happen to coincide with my own deepest passion for geology. John Nash was in search of an original mathematical idea; he believed that there exists a principle that governs the behavior of things. He had already started winning scientific awards and had already been well known among his peers even before he entered the university. While at the university, he refused to go to classes or read textbooks simply because he believed that classes kills the potential for innovation in students. Whenever he was faced with any mathematical problem, he never consulted his lecturers or read text books, he sought for answers to questions based on his own reasoning. He was an amazing man. He talked less, listened more and thought more. In fact, he was always thinking. He was not a people-person. Although most of his classmates adored him, they ridiculed his weird attitude.
I like him for his deep passion and his pursuit of an original idea. At the end of the day, he had breakthroughs in game theory, differential geometry, and partial differential equations which provided insight into the forces that govern chance and events inside complex systems in daily life. He achieved his goal. His theories are used in market economics, computing, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence, accounting, politics and military theory. He later won Nobel Memorial Prize in 1994.
It would be a greater challenge to follow John’s path in our present world, as most academic institutions are very strict with referencing in presented or published research papers. A writer of today is expected to quote at least one author who had published an article on whatever assertion/proposition he makes in his paper. I could remember my first degree final year project defense. The area I worked on had not been extensively explored or written on by earlier geologists. So, I had few references. The external project supervisor asked why my reference list wasn’t long, I explained the reason to him. He said he doesn’t believe that there’s any new thing in this world. That the truth is someone, somewhere would have discussed or written about whatever model I am proposing in my thesis.
Both ancient and contemporary psychologists have reiterated the fact that there is still a huge load of theories, principles, scientific processes etc. yet to be discovered by man. An inspirational quote I read some years ago states that "Only in the minds of a selected group of thinkers does the earth begin to reveal its secrets." I loved it so much that I turned it into my email signature. It suggests that the earth has secrets to reveal about itself. Man could definitely have not exhausted these secrets so soon.
Nevertheless, I choose to be one of those selected group of thinkers. I am committed to the cause of pushing geoscientific knowledge to the next level. I believe there are still a lot to be understood and known about Nigeria’s geology, as well as the structure of the earth at large. There are still a lot of dark spots in our understanding of plate tectonics, there’s still a huge demand for renewable energy which is yet to be met. These and many more constitute the secrets of our planet earth that we are yet to discover.
This is my passion… the pursuit of an original geoscientific idea… a pattern of thinking that will transform the way in which man sees this amazing planet- The Earth.
Friday 20 December 2013
- Map of Nigeria showing the location of Idanre (Inset: Map of Africa)
- Anifowose, A.Y.B. and Kolawole, F. (2012). Emplacement Tectonics of the Idanre Batholith, South-western Nigeria. Comunicações Geológicas, 99, 2, pp 13-18.
Download link- http://www.lneg.pt/download/6009/2_ART_CG11-036-1309_FINAL_A.pdf
Thursday 24 January 2013
Here comes another great three-dimensional visualization software from the stables of Golden Software Inc. Overtime, Surfer had taken the prominent place in the domain of ‘basic/simple’ three-dimensional visualization of geophysical or geospatial data; but Voxler is here to put spice up our plots with its its amazing speedy creation of stunning models that visualize the relationships across your data set. This robust, yet user-friendly program gives you the power to display your data in a variety of formats and colours, capture video animation of your moving model, and select from several image and data export options.
One cool feature I like about Voxler is that it suspends layers of imported datasets on one another, while Surfer only merges the layers on one another. The suspension capability allows for independent as well as relative observation of the plots.
Voxler can plot datasets in variety of ways which include 3D-surface maps (height field), contour maps, point maps (scatter-plots) etc. It can also work with datasets of a wide variety of formats, although there is limitation to the type of graphic output obtainable with different data formats; for example you can not plot a surface map (height-field) with a .dat dataset but you can plot surface maps and many more types of graphic output with a .grd dataset.
Try out the wonders of Voxler and you’ll get hooked as I’ve been :)
- Observation of the relationship between datasets (Surface map and scatter points).
Wednesday 9 January 2013
Students are unable to ask questions in class for various reasons. These reasons include the fear of coming across as arrogant to the lecturer and risk being tagged an "I too know (I.T.K)", as well as the fear of being perceived as dull by other students in the class who are not asking questions. In some cases, the students are just simply too confused about the topic being taught to even know which question to ask.
Being unable to ask questions during class is a challenge I personally battled with for the major part of my undergraduate education. For me, it was the fear of coming off as a proud or arrogant student to the lecturer. This fear started from before I gained admission into the university. I had heard several stories of some lecturers in Nigerian universities who would get extremely embarrassed and offended when their students ask them questions they could not answer, and may eventually regard the inquisitive student as "an enemy". Such stories have probably contributed substantially to the fear of asking questions in class by many students and consequently led to failure of many students in Nigerian universities.
However, in order to weather the challenge, I spent extra time in the library and browsing the internet in order to learn more and find answers to the many questions I had on the topics I was taught in class. Finally, in my final year, assured that I had built my grade point to a level that no lecturer could pull it down below "comfort zone", I became bolder and began to ask my lecturers question in class.
Surprisingly, it produced amazing results. I began to learn more and understand better, as my questions turned the lecture classes into interesting discussions. I could remember one of the classes in which the lecturer gave some tips beyond the scope of the lecture at the time, which broadened my understanding of the tectonic evolution of the African plate. These tips were never stated in class notes, yet they remained entrenched in my mind up to this day.
As opined by Blosser (1990), if one of the objectives of scientific knowledge impartation is the development of higher level thinking processes in students, how else can this goal be achieved without intensive communication between the teachers and students involved? And how better can this communication grow between a teacher and a student without at least one of the two parties asking relevant questions?
Arthurs (2011) highlighted the propensity of students to develop alternate conceptions, misconceptions and even their own personalised but incorrect cognitive models of geoscience concepts. This will definitely be typical of a teacher-dominated geoscience class.
Therefore, if Nigerian geoscience teachers expect their students to develop into independent scientific thinkers and future problem solvers, they must begin to provide opportunities during their lectures that allow for greater student involvement and less teacher domination of the learning process. With this in place, it'll be easier for them to identify the various misconceptions and difficulties their students are having with understanding the topics and concepts being taught in class.
1. Arthurs, L. (2011). What college-level students think: Student alternate conceptions and their cognitive models of geoscience concepts. Geol. Soc. of America Special Papers, v.474. Pp.135-152.
2. Blosser, E. P. (1990). Using questions in science classrooms. Research Matters - to the science teacher. NARST. No.9001.
Tuesday 8 January 2013
The increase in reports of tremors in the south-west Nigerian sub-region within the past two-three decades has become disturbing; and several research works (Elueze, 2003, Odeyemi, 2006, Anifowose et al., 2006, Kolawole & Anifowose, 2011) had referred to the Ifewara-Zungeru mega-structure and its connecting Southern-Atlantic transform faults as the major sources.
Below is a historical record of earth tremors in Nigeria (Akpan & Yakubu, 2010):
However, these questions may arise:
Considering the spatial coverage of the effects of the tremors, is it possible that these tremors were produced by more than a single fault (Ifewara Fault)? or are there possibly more active faults in the region?
I will like to know your thoughts on this issue. Kindly drop your opinions in the comment box.
1. Akpan, O. U. and Yakubu, T. A. (2010). A review of earthquake occurrences and observations in Nigeria. Earthq Sci. (2010) 23. Pp. 289-294.
2. Anifowose, A. Y. B., Odeyemi, I. B. and Borode, A. M. (2006). The tectonic significance of the Ifewara-Zungeru megastructure in Nigeria. In: Teme S C and Ezeigbo C U. Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Geodesy and Geodynamics. Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics, Toro, Nigeria. Pp. 17–28.
3. Elueze, A. A. (2003). Evaluation of the 7 March 2000 earth tremor in Ibadan area, southwestern Nigeria. Jour Min Geol 39(2). Pp. 79–83.
4. Kolawole, F. and Anifowose, A.Y.B. (2011). Remote sensing analysis of a dextral discontinuity along Ifewara-Zungeru area, Nigeria, West Africa. Ind. Jour. of Sci. & Tech. Vol. 4 No. 1. Pp. 46-51.
5. Odeyemi, I. B. (2006). The Ifewara fault in southwestern Nigeria: Its relationship with fracture zones along the Nigerian coast. Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics, Toro, Bauchi State. Pp. 1–13.
Tuesday 30 October 2012
Exfoliation is a weathering process in hard rocks by which alternate cycles of heating and cooling (expansion and contraction) cause rocks to breakdown mechanically into thin sheets/slabs along their outer surfaces- this is why it is also called “onion-skin weathering”. These sheet/slabs vary in thickness from a few centimetres to few meters.
Ok, let’s go and see some amazing onion-skin weathering sites in south-west Nigeria. We choose Akure, Ondo State capital. The young folks have given the town the street name “Ak-city”. It’s their own ‘small Lagos’ anyways (hahaha… yeye people).
Akure area is characterized by a landscape composed of a basal migmatite-gneiss country rock and granite intrusions, shooting out and outcropping ubiquitously as picturesque inselbergs in different places. These granites (porphyritic) are southern extensions of the Ikere-Ado Batholith.
On these granite inselbergs, we find numerous awe-inspiring rock formations formed by down-slipped exfoliating slabs/sheets. However, only a few of these rock formations qualify as caves and are called Talus Caves. While talus itself are the rock boulders/blocks produced from weathering, talus caves are those cavities and openings formed between the boulders piled up when pilled up.
Now, those talus caves found in Akure area range in form and size. Some appear to have been formed in-situ, while some appear to have been transported to their locations. Also, some differ from others in the type of geometry of the talus/blocks that formed them. These observations have therefore formed the basis of Kolawole & Anifowose (2011)’s review of the pre-existing classification of talus caves by Vidal & Vaqueiro (2007).
Over time, the rock formations of Akure area have been given special attention because of the seemingly precarious but spectacular and interesting poise assumed by the boulders. Iho-Eleeru is located in Isarun village, some 20mins from the outskirts of Akure. It is also known as the “Cave of Ashes” because of the burnt pottery works of the ancient dwellers at the cave. Aba Cave is located on the northern outskirts of Akure, and is given the name because it takes the form of a traditional hut. There is also Kinihun Rock, a massive pile of awe-inspiring rock boulders beautifully set on one another. It takes the form of a lion's skull when viewed from the north-eastern direction, hence it’s name.
These beautiful works of nature on the Nigerian soil proves to possess great and inestimable tourism potentials if properly explored and exploited, as they are not found in every other part of the world due to unsuitability of climatic conditions to facilitate their process of formation. For talus caves to be produced, the tropical climate is the most suitable due its relatively high temperature and humidity conditions.
*In future posts, we shall explore the process of formation of each of these talus caves.
1. Kolawole F. & A. Y. B. Anifowose (2011). Talus Caves: Geotourist Attractions Formed by Spheroidal and Exfoliation Weathering on Akure-Ado Inselbergs, Southwestern Nigeria. Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management Vol. 4 No.3 2011. Pp1-6 (www.ajol.info/index.php/ejesm/article/view/71622/60586).
2. Vidal Romaní J. R. and M. R. Vaqueiro (2007). Types of granite cavities and associated speleothems: genesis and evolution. Nature Conservation 63. Pp41-46.