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8 September 2017

Friday fold: Ptygmatic folding in gneiss

I was transferring some samples into my structural geology cabinet last week when I found this beautiful ptygmatic (“intestine-like”) folded quartz vein. I thought it deserved some wider circulation. I can’t recall where it came from, but it’s beautiful, with a train of a dozen or so isoclinal folds. So I made the digital media you see below. Enjoy! Here’s a GIGAmacro of the sample (you need Flash enabled to …

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9 August 2017

A suite of new 3D models

A showcase of five new 3D digital models of awesome rock samples and outcrops, produced using Agisoft Photoscan.

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15 July 2017

Flow-banded rhyolite from Vulcano, Italy

I collected only a single rock on my summer travels in France and Italy. (Those of you who know me will realize how extraordinary this low number is!) It’s a flow-banded rhyolite from Vulcano, in the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily a few weeks ago. It contains porphyritic vesicular basalt xenoliths. I featured a similar sample on Twitter yesterday on the occasion (supposedly) of “International Rock Day”: For #InternationalRockDay , …

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9 June 2017

Friday fold – or is it a fauxld?

Check this out: is it a fold? Annotated to show the 3D expression of the ‘bed’ (left) and cross-sectional view (right): Here’s a 3D model of the outcrop to better convey its shape: [sketchfab id=”7a5a02f9521d45dab56b2464a37c8dd9″ start=”0″ spin=”” controls=”0″] This is in the same sandstone unit I blogged about on Tuesday with the apparent soft-sediment deformation. This could be another example of the same general class of pre-lithification structures, or it …

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5 June 2017

3D models of sedimentary structures

I’ve been busy making 3D models lately. Here are three ones united by a theme of being sand that was deposited relative to mud. In one case we have scouring to make flutes, in another case we have have localized sagging to make “ball & pillow” structures, and in the third case we have an extraordinary submarine landslide deposit. For two of them, the shale has been preferentially etched away, …

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9 May 2017

Ripples in Foreknobs

The Foreknobs Formation is a Devonian unit in the Valley & Ridge province of the Mid-Atlantic Region. It was deposited in relatively shallow near-shore conditions during the Acadian Orogeny. On a field trip to Corridor H, a new highway transecting the West Virginian Valley & Ridge province on Monday, I stopped to document a couple of beds showing very nice ripple marks. These ones are symmetrical, and thus likely represent …

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3 March 2017

Friday fold: Kink folded Dalradian metasediments

Let’s reminisce back to the Walls Boundary Fault on the Ollaberry Peninsula of Shetland today. Here’s a 3D model to go along with the ones I posted last time: It’s a little ragged, but so am I at the end of the workweek! Happy Friday. Have fun spinning this thing.

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25 February 2017

Concretions in the Millboro Formation, Fort Valley

Some enormous concretions are encountered in a shale quarry in the central Fort Valley. Concretions like these are typical of the Devonian-aged Millboro Formation.

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24 February 2017

Friday fold: 3D model of kinked schist from Rhode Island

For your Friday fold this week, I present to you a 3D model of a sample of kinked schist from Beavertail State Park, Rhode Island. Spin it right round, baby: This is another sample from the structural geology collection of Carol Simpson and Declan De Paor.

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13 January 2017

Friday fold: Smaull Graywacke at Saligo Bay, Islay

On the western coast of Islay, Saligo Bay showcases turbidites of the Neoproterozoic Colonsay Group. The Smaull Graywacke shows Caledonian (late Ordovician) folding and cleavage superimposed on world-class graded bedding. There’s also a nice dolerite dike to examine.

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10 January 2017

Two kimberlite intrusion samples presented in 3D model format

While in Cape Town for the 35th meeting of the International Geological Congress in August/September, I was delighted at the “Messengers from the Mantle: Craton Roots and Diamonds” exhibit on kimberlites. It was a world-class collection of excellent specimens that traveled to the Congress from across the city at the University of Cape Town. I took some photos of two specimens to make 3D models from, and my student Marissa …

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29 October 2016

New digital media of Shenandoah National Park feeder dikes

In Shenandoah National Park, astride Virginia’s Blue Ridge, feeder dikes of Catoctin Formation (meta-)basalt cut across the Grenvillian-aged granitoid basement. Due to their mafic composition and columnar jointing, these feeder dikes generally weather more rapidly than their host rocks. I led a field trip in the park on Thursday for my son’s school, and my student Marissa was there the weekend prior, checking out the autumn leaves and geology with …

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3 October 2016

A virtual field trip to Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

Rathlin Island lies north of mainland Northern Ireland, a few miles offshore. I spent three lovely days there this past summer, investigating the geology and appreciating the wildlife (puffins and other sea birds, and seals). The geology is pretty straightforward: Paleogene basalt overlying Cretaceous “chalk” (really not so chalky here – technically, it’s the Ulster White Limestone). Here’s a suite of interactive imagery that you can use to explore Rathlin’s …

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20 September 2016

A virtual field trip to examine the Peninsula Sandstone on Table Mountain

Take a virtual field trip to Table Mountain, near Cape Town, South Africa. Digital media to explore from the site include: a 3D model, 3 GigaPans, and a 360° spherical photo!

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15 September 2016

Pillow basalts from eastern Washington: a 3D model

Since I showed off some Icelandic pillow basalts yesterday, today I thought I would showcase a new 3D model of big pillows in Columbia River basalt of eastern Washington, taken from a photo set I made when I was out there in May:

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9 September 2016

Friday folds: A study in contrasts at the Walls Boundary Fault, Shetland

A virtual field trip to the Walls Boundary Fault in Shetland reveals an embarrassment of Friday fold riches.

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2 August 2016

Oldest fossils in the UK: M.I.S.S. in Stoer Group, Scotland

This is the Split Rock at Clachtoll, on the shore of the North-West Highlands of Scotland. You’re looking out to sea, over the Minch. It’s the site that graces the cover of the excellent book A Geological Excursion Guide to the North-West Highlands of Scotland, by Kathryn Goodenough and Marten Krabbendam. “Clach toll” apparently means “Split rock” — Go figure. The Split Rock is an easy landmark to steer toward …

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4 July 2016

Virtual field trip to Kinkell Braes, Scotland

Walking along the shore east from St. Andrews, Scotland, along the seaside sandstones of Kinkell Braes, you encounter several extraordinary examples of geology. It’s a great place for the next stop on our Grand Tour of the geology of the British Isles. Here’s the scene: The first stop is a giant eurypterid trackway, potentially the largest invertebrate trackway in the world (Whyte, 2005), on the underside of an overhanging sandstone …

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30 June 2016

Virtual field trip to Siccar Point, Scotland

Time for another virtual field trip on the Geologist’s Grand Tour of the United Kingdom: the most famous outcrop in the world. Today, we visit Siccar Point, Scotland. You’ve probably already seen photos of this place – they usually look something like this: To those who aren’t familiar, here’s what going on: There are two sets of strata here – and the contact between them is an ancient erosional surface. …

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25 June 2016

A virtual field trip to the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Some of planet Earth’s best examples of basaltic cooling columns are found at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. In this post, explore four different kinds of interactive digital media as a way of experiencing the Causeway virtually, from the comfort of your computer.

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