Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Monday, January 19, 2015

Grottoes and hobbit holes of Luo Yang

Driving around over the Great Loess Plain of China, you eventually come to Luo Yang, home of the peony festival. Not too many peonies around this time of year, but the city is famous for other reasons, including the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World heritage site.

The grottoes are small caves that have been carved out of a limestone cliff. They are decorated with sculptures representing buddha, boddhisatvas, guardians, and pagodas. The sculptures were all created between the late fifth century (C.E.) and the early 12th century.

View from Xiangshan temple

There are about 1400 caves and over 100,000 carvings (including some very small ones).

Progressive details in Leigutaizhongdong Cave.

Large sculptures of Feng Xian Si (the large grotto in the top two images).

A small reflection of the grottoes is found in the loess cliffs along the highway near Luo Yang. I call these hobbit holes, even though they aren't dwellings. Some of them are brick-lined, but most appear to be for manufacture.

Loess is quite cohesive, and there are regions in China where people live in the stuff. It is pretty stable until there is an earthquake, at which point the casualties can be horrific.

Big hobbit hole.

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