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10 July 2020

Friday fold: Candigliano River, Italy

Reader Michael Hiteshaw spotted some amazing folds this week while watching Kayak Session TV on YouTube. Though there’s a dramatic arc of “saving” a deer, both Michael and I felt our eyes drawn to the canyon walls where there are gorgeous folds in several sizes and shapes, with an emphasis on chevron folds:  The video description on YouTube reads: Fabulous action by whitewater kayaker Fabrizio “Gass” Capizzo who saved …

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19 June 2020

Friday fold: Scaglia Rossa chevrons at Lago di Fiastra

My friend Alan Pitts is orchestrating a virtual field camp for George Mason University this summer, utilizing outcrops in central Italy’s Apennine Mountains. Here’s a 3D model he just posted of one of the most impressive outcrops there: the chevron folds in the Scaglia Rossa limestones at Lago di Fiastra. I featured the site as a Friday fold 3 years ago when Alan took me there in person, but this …

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13 September 2019

Friday fold: crinkled schist from Italy

AGU’s Chief Digital Officer Jay Brodsky offers up a fresh European fold for you today — and this one is on rather a smaller scale than Jay’s last Friday fold contribution… Click through for a bigger version. These are lovely crinkly folds in highly foliated rocks. I love boxy little crenulations like these. Jay tells me that this is from Graines, Italy, in one of the valleys of the Val …

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14 February 2019

Friday fold: an arch of gypsum in Sicily

Ahh, Sicily on a Friday morning. Join us to examine a spectacular arch of gypsum from the Messinian evaporite package.

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16 November 2018

Friday folds: more deformation from Cinque Terre, Italy

A return to coastal Italy on this wintry Friday… You’ll recall that The Other Callan shared some fold imagery with us a few weeks back as he explored the Cinque Terre region of Italy. He is back in the States now, and has been kind enough to share his geology-themed photos with me, so I can share them with you. Take a gander: Several people more familiar with these rocks …

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5 October 2018

Friday fold: Vernazza, Italy

For this Friday’s fold, we must journey to the storied Cinque Terre coastline of Italy, where we will encounter some mysterious turbidites…

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31 August 2018

Friday folds: Rifugio Fontana in the Dolomites

TGIF: “Thank Geology It’s Friday!”
Time for a fold or a dozen – let’s travel to the Italian Dolomites to see some kinky crumpled limestones…

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24 April 2018

T. rex and the Crater of Doom, by Walter Alvarez

Walter Alvarez has a new book out, and its publication reminded me that though I read and appreciated The Mountains of St. Francis, I had never read his most famous work — the account of how he and his father and a team of other researchers zeroed in on an extraterrestrial impact explanation for the end-Cretaceous extinction. So last week I read T. rex and the Crater of Doom (1997). …

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18 April 2018

Visiting St. Francis’s lovely limestone

The Cretaceous-Paleogene limestone called Scaglia Rossa was used to construct a basilica in tribute to St. Francis. Let’s head to Assisi and take a look.

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13 February 2018

S-C fabric in limestone, Camerino, Italy

Some scaly Italian limestone shows off two foliations (S and C) which reveal the kinematic motions that built the Apennines.

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5 December 2017

The quarry in Contessa Gorge

Central Apennine stratigraphy and structure is on display in the wall of a quarry in Contessa Gorge, Italy. Have a look a nice normal fault and a submarine mass transport deposit.

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27 November 2017

Visiting the K/Pg boundary at Bottaccione Gorge, near Gubbio, Italy

A trip to one of the most famous outcrops in the world, a place with a stratum that marked a profound shift in the state of the planet, and a profound shift in geologic thinking. Plus, for the author, it’s a romantic journey back in time.

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11 October 2017

Pompeii vs. Herculaneum

Italy’s celebrated archaeological site of Pompeii is compared and contrasted with nearby Herculaneum in terms of art, architecture, visitor experience, and (of course) geology.

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22 September 2017

Friday fold: bend in a vesicular lava flow, Etna

It’s the First Friday of Fall! Here’s a sort of fold to help you celebrate: a section through a ∧ shaped bend in a vesicular basalt flow from the eastern flanks of Mount Etna in Sicily. It’s due to volcanic lava flowing rather than ductile deformation of a pre-existing solid rock (our usual habit with this feature), but I think we can appreciate it regardless:

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15 September 2017

Friday fold: Dextral asymmetry in a shear zone, Italy

The Friday fold comes from highly foliated rocks in a shear zone near Tyrol, Italy. It was contributed by reader Samuele Papeschi.

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25 August 2017

Friday fold: Villa Romana di Casale

Okay, I’ll admit this is a bit of a stretch, but here’s your Friday fold: The mosaic-covered floor of this long hallway in the Villa Romana di Casale in central Sicily shows profound warping. The middle shadowed area sags downward by at least a meter, maybe more. It’s not a geological material that’s been deformed, but an architectural element instead. Still: the principle of original horizontality applies to floors as …

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18 August 2017

Friday folds: the Roman Forum

When in Rome, do Friday folds as the Romans do? Here are some images from my brief, sweltering visit to the Roman Forum(s) this past summer. The whole region is a jumblepile of ancient ruins in a thousand styles. Almost nothing is labeled. It looks like this: This particular building held up a bit better, and its lovely columns sported some folded marbles: Close-up shots to show the folding internal …

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21 July 2017

Friday fold: Sardinia

My friend Ander Sundell at the College of Western Idaho is the source of today’s Friday fold. It’s from somewhere in Sardinia, and I think you’ll find it visually striking: Ander says: The rocks here are Silurian phyllites generated from mudstones that were deposited on the floor of the rheic ocean basin. The color and grain size variation do an excellent job highlighting compositional layering. They were deformed during the …

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18 July 2017

The Mountains of Saint Francis, by Walter Alvarez

I’ve just finished three weeks of travel in Italy, and I was absolutely delighted to read this terrific book by Walter Alvarez while I was there. Alvarez is famous the world over for being the nucleus of the team that proposed an extraterrestrial meteorite impact as the cause of the end-Cretaceous extinction, prompted to that bold hypothesis by the discovery that the clay seam marking the boundary between the Mesozoic …

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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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