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17 February 2017

Friday fold: Buckled at Baltinglass

Friday fold: Buckled at Baltinglass

Garnetiferous beds from the aureole of the Leinster Granite east of Baltinglass, County Wicklow, Ireland (Declan De Paor’s senior thesis mapping area, 1973). Manganese-rich metasediments. The prominent ‘elasticas’ or fan folds (folds with a negative inter-limb angle) are superimposed on isoclinal folds: so the brownish layer at top and bottom are the same, though that is not obvious from the image. This is a sample from the structural geology collection …

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11 October 2016

A virtual field trip to Portrush, Northern Ireland

A virtual field trip to Portrush, Northern Ireland

One of my favorite places in Northern Ireland is the east side of the peninsula that hosts the tourist town of Portrush. There, two early schools of geological thought engaged in a battle. The opposing sides were: the Neptunists, who thought all stratified rocks, and in particular basalt, must form from precipitation from the sea, and the Plutonists, who thought some rocks, including basalt, formed through intrusion of molten rock …

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3 October 2016

A virtual field trip to Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

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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1 July 2016

Friday fold: Clarely, an anticline

Friday fold: Clarely, an anticline

Eric Pyle sent in today’s Friday fold – Eric reports that you can find this fold seaside, near Poulatedaun, Co. Clare, Ireland. Thanks for sharing, Eric!

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25 June 2016

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

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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24 June 2016

Friday fold: Dalradian schist at Cushendun, Northern Ireland

Friday fold: Dalradian schist at Cushendun, Northern Ireland

Same beach as the Cushedun conglomerate post earlier in the week – but here we see the schist into which the rhyolite dikes intruded: It’s been folded! Happy Friday. Hope your weekend is rejuvenative and fun.

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23 June 2016

Mega-trace fossils in the floor of the Old Bushmills Distillery, Northern Ireland

Mega-trace fossils in the floor of the Old Bushmills Distillery, Northern Ireland

We arrived at Old Bushmills at 4:06pm, and the last tour of the distillery for the day had left at 4:00. But all was not lost – We were delighted to see that the visitor center area was paved in slabs of shale with tremendously large, well-preserved trace fossils – sinuous burrows parallel to the bedding plane, in some cases cross-cutting or looping back over themselves! Great stuff – balm …

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22 June 2016

Shattered chert breccia cobbles, Church Bay, Rathlin Island

Shattered chert breccia cobbles, Church Bay, Rathlin Island

My GigaPan expedition has landed at Rathlin Island, north of Northern Ireland, within view of Scotland, for a few days. The beach on Church Bay is cobble-covered and steep, and the cobbles reflect the island’s geology, with some anthropogenic components thrown in for flavor: Link GigaPan by Callan Bentley But I was struck by these two cobbles, each showing a pervasively shattered breccia of chert: To me, that is not …

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21 June 2016

Porphyritic rhyolite dike seen on the beach at Cushendun

Porphyritic rhyolite dike seen on the beach at Cushendun

At the opposite end of the beach at Cushendun, Northern Ireland, we found some outcrops of schist – I’ll be featuring some of them as Friday folds later this week. But cutting across the schist was a pink porphyry, with big well-formed potassium feldspars. I splashed some water from the Irish Sea onto it to increase the contrast: Here’s a handheld GigaPan image, so you can explore it for yourself. …

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19 June 2016

3D model of onion-skin weathering

I collected a photo set at the Giant’s Causeway to show the “textbook” examples of spheroidal (“onion skin”) weathering exposed on the road down to the causeway. My student Marissa Dudek used the photo set and Agisoft Photoscan to make a great 3D model of the site. She posted it on Sketchfab yesterday evening. Check it out! Photoscan model by Marissa Dudek Great work, Marissa!

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