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You are browsing the archive for national parks Archives - Mountain Beltway.

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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28 July 2017

Friday fold: Big kink fold in Grinnell Formation

It’s Friday! How about we celebrate with a beautiful kink fold from a gorgeous national park?



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5 May 2017

Friday fold: sea monster in stone

It’s Friday, the end of the workweek, but also the beginning of the celebration of folded rocks. Examine a particularly sinuous example from the buckled Cambrian limestones of Canada’s Kootenay National Park.



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15 April 2017

Basement xenoliths in Catoctin Formation, Compton Pass

My son and I hiked Compton Peak in Shenandoah National Park this morning, and saw these two lovely examples of xenoliths. The example above is small, but it shows clearly the difference between the coarse, felsic basement rock (Mesoproterozoic granitoid, comprising the xenolith) and the surrounding fine-grained dark green metabasalt of the Catoctin Formation (Neoproterozoic). Here’s another, bigger example: These two Blue Ridge examples both illustrate the principle of relative …



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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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16 September 2016

Friday fold: Centenary migmatite

The Friday fold is a guest submission from Bill Burton, who took the photo of these lovely ptygmatic folds in migmatite in a national park on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Park Service.



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20 April 2016

Cooling columns of the Catoctin Formation, Indian Run Overlook, Shenandoah National Park

An inaugural visit to an outcrop in Shenandoah National Park reveals the signature of lava flows ~600 million years old.



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18 November 2015

Beach sand of coastal Maine

You could use a macro GigaPan of some pretty sand, I think. Link That’s sand from near Acadia National Park, in Maine. Exploring it, you can find both small chunks of Acadian granite, and green rods that are sea urchin spines. It’s fun – check it out.



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12 October 2015

Bedding/cleavage GigaPans at Harpers Ferry, WV

I’ve been thinking lately about Harpers Ferry, the spot where West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland meet, at the confluence of the Potomac River and the Shenandoah River. I’ve noted small outcrops of its overturned beddding here previously, and also described a book I read about the man who made the place infamous: John Brown. I went out there again last week with my NOVA colleague Beth Doyle, and we explored …



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12 August 2015

Student guest post: the Belt Supergroup in Glacier National Park

As longtime readers know, late summer is when my Rockies students submit their final projects – web-based explanations of key geologic sites they examined during the trip. Today, I offer you a guest blog post by student John Leaming. You’ll notice that I’m not *completely* absent from the post, however – I make a couple of cameos as “sense of scale.” Enjoy, -CB ______________________________________________________________ Glacier National Park, Belt Supergroup I …



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