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18 October 2019
TGIF! That’s my seven year old field assistant showing off the shape of a syncline in shale, siltstone, and fine sandstone of the Foreknobs Formation, a Devonian nearshore package of clastic sediment in the Valley & Ridge Province of eastern West Virginia. Want to see something freaky for Halloween? Photoshop can make it happen: Ewwww. Creepy! Another shot of the same fold, with a thick massive sand above a thicker …
11 February 2019
When Bugs Were Big, Plants Were Strange, and Tetrapods Stalked the Earth: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life Before Dinosaurs, by Hannah Bonner
It has been a while since I’ve reviewed any kids’ books here, but this one was so good that I just have to tell you about it. My son is now 6 and a half years old, and he’s interested in all sorts of natural history topics. Given that I’m a geologist, he’s probably more Earth-science-focused than the average kid, but my wife is a biologist, so he’s got plenty …
10 April 2018
Roadcuts in Kentucky show Ordovician limestones of two distinct types, replete with fossils and primary sedimentary structures, and juxtaposed by a fault, one strand in the Kentucky River Fault System.
29 September 2017
The Friday folds are small soft-sediment deformational features within a dismembered, folded sandstone (a “ploudin”) from a mass transport deposit from the latest Devonian of West Virginia.
11 August 2017
For the Friday fold, Callan digs out images of Eagle Rock, Virginia, well aged in his digital archive for a decade!
23 May 2017
Journey to the Silurian period in what is today the Valley & Ridge province of eastern West Virginia to see some exquisite sedimentary rocks that represent deposition in a very arid, very shallow setting.
9 May 2017
The Foreknobs Formation is a Devonian unit in the Valley & Ridge province of the Mid-Atlantic Region. It was deposited in relatively shallow near-shore conditions during the Acadian Orogeny. On a field trip to Corridor H, a new highway transecting the West Virginian Valley & Ridge province on Monday, I stopped to document a couple of beds showing very nice ripple marks. These ones are symmetrical, and thus likely represent …
16 May 2016
Over the weekend, my wife and I took a walk with our son at the Storybrook Trail, an accessible trail with a fine overlook to the east over the Page Valley. There, the Massanutten Sandstone shows a bunch of big beefy trace fossils at this site: both bedding-parallel (Arthophycus-like) and bedding-perpendicular (Skolithos-like) traces. Here’s Bax on a photogenic slab of the quartz arenite, showing the inch-wide bioturbation: A short distance …
25 October 2015
On Saturday, I took my historical geology class on their field trip out to Corridor H, West Virginia. We made a stop at the Mahantango Formation outcrop exposed on the eastbound exit ramp near Baker, and poked around there for fossils. These Devonian-aged siltstones are chock full of invertebrates including rugose corals, crinoids, articulate brachiopods, and even trilobites. Here are two of the best fossils we encountered there: A trilobite …
14 August 2015
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.
12 March 2013
Yesterday, I took five new GigaPans at Thoroughfare Gap, a water gap where Broad Run cuts through Bull Run Mountain, the eastern limb of the Blue Ridge Anticlinorium at my latitude. The rocks here are the Cambrian-aged Chilhowee Group, with bedding tilted moderately to the east during Alleghanian mountain-building in the late Paleozoic. To the west is the crystalline core of this massive regional fold, and to the east is …