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You are browsing the archive for June 2017 - Mountain Beltway.

23 June 2017

Friday fold: Canoeing the Célé River, France

I was in southern France last week, exploring an awesome suite of caves cut into the Causses limestone plateau. My family and I took an afternoon to paddle a canoe down 5 kilometers of the Célé River. While floating along, we spied a gentle, open fold in the limestone layers that crop out along the banks. This low-amplitude fold is highlighted with the “horizontal” reference line of the river’s edge. …

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16 June 2017

Friday fold: toothpasty Tomstown

I spent last weekend at the National Association of Geoscience Teachers’ Eastern Section meeting, based out of the Community College of Baltimore County in Catonsville, Maryland. One of the two field trips I took headed out to the western Piedmont, Blue Ridge and Valley & Ridge provinces of western Maryland. On that trip, we took a tour of Crystal Grottoes, a commercial cave south of Boonsboro. I was impressed at …

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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: 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 could be an optical illusion. …

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7 June 2017

The epistemology of carbon atoms

I have some questions for you. You answers determine whether you’re ready to begin talking about climate policy. Do you believe that carbon atoms exist? Do you believe that carbon can bond to oxygen? Do you believe that the bonding of carbon to oxygen is an exothermic reaction? Do you believe that exothermic reactions make heat? Do you believe that heat can be used to boil water? Do you believe …

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6 June 2017

Loading sags in homogeneous lithologies?

Can soft sediment deformation “loading structures” (ball & pillow) occur when the two strata are identical in composition? Grok on these field photos and chime in with your best hypothesis.

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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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1 June 2017

The geology of the Yesnaby coast, Orkney

Ahhhh, a raw Scottish coast.          …Let’s go there. There’s sedimentology to be learned here, and coastal geomorphology to be ogled. This is Yesnaby, on the west side of Orkney. The rocks there are part of “the Old Red Sandstone,” a neat package of Devonian strata, flavored here and there with an igneous dike, a fault, etc. But overall, I’d like to focus on the strata. The strata I saw at …

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