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Roadside Geology of Montana part II: Geology and history change together

Posted at 9:07 AM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 11:07:44-05

LEWIS AND CLARK CAVERNS STATE PARK - We continued our conversation with Montana Western Geology professor Rob Thomas this morning. Thomas and University of Montana professor Donald Hyndman recently finished the 2nd edition of Roadside Geology of Montana.

It turns out this book is also a history book of Montana. Thomas notes that, unlike traditional history books, his history is changing. He points to major events like landslides and earthquakes as some things that can spark change.

However, the ground under Montana is constantly moving…though slowly and that too leads to changes.

Thomas says Roadside Geology of Montana is not a doom and gloom kind of read, though major, catastrophic events could take place here in Montana. He tells MTN’s Chet Layman that the historical record, in geologic terms shows the frequency of those kinds of events is very rare. Thomas says the biggest cause of change for him, is the Montana Department of Transportation. Thomas will study and identify a specific roadcut, only to discover that the MDT has changed the roadway and that the roadcut no longer exists. Roadside Geology has won a national award as a piece of literature.

Tune in to Montana This Morning on Wednesday to hear more about that award as Chet Layman concludes his conversation with Rob Thomas from Montana Western.


Roadside Geology of Montana: Second edition takes a closer look at Treasure State geology