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11 January 2023

Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver

Now here’s an interesting book: a retelling of David Copperfield (by Charles Dickens) but set in modern-day Appalachia, specifically Lee County, in the furthest-west tip of Virginia, where it makes a triangular insert between Kentucky and Tennessee. The arc of the original bildungsroman is a rags-to-riches tale set in Victorian England. Because of the physical and temporal distance between my current point in space-time and that of Copperfield, much of …


21 April 2017

Friday (coal)d

Often I feature a fold photo here on Friday, but today I give you a folded coal, so therefore a “coald” – this is from the Pennsylvanian Conemaugh Formation on the Alleghany Plateau in West Virginia, near Bismarck. Photo by Sebastian Andres Kaempfe Droguett.


14 August 2015

Paleoslump features and fluvial incision in the Conemaugh Group, West Virginia

The answer to this week’s geological interpretation contest is revealed, sort of. Annotations, GigaPans, and outcrop detail photos reveal the story of equatorial fluvial incision and ancient slumping during the Carboniferous ice ages.


20 September 2011

Giant City State Park, Illinois

Giant City State Park is a patch of protected forest south of Carbondale, Illinois, where there are some pretty cool exposures of Pennsylvanian-aged Makanda Sandstone. Here’s a typical look at one: Notice the deep chasm on the right. This leads, maze-like, to other flat-bottomed and vertically-walled canyons: The orthogonal joint sets produces some nice tall, cliff-like vertical exposures that reveal the history of these rocks in several stages: deposition by …