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30 July 2022
Fresh from the field, Callan shares a quintet of beautifully preserved desiccation cracks in Mesoproterozoic Belt Supergroups sediments, exposed in Montana’s geological gem, Glacier National Park.
24 June 2022
Happy Friday! Here are some kink-folded metasediments from Virginia’s Lynchburg Group to help usher in the weekend.
21 June 2022
One of my favorite tricks is using bedding / cleavage intersections to identify tectonically inverted strata. On a field trip yesterday to check out soapstone quarries in the Albemarle/Nelson border region, I got to see this lovely example of Lynchburg Group metasediments that showcased a textbook example of the phenomenon: Bedding was initially horizontal, or close to it, and cleavage (formed under tectonic compression) initially vertical. Subsequent deformation rotated the …
25 June 2021
Inside the Blue Ridge (in an 1850s-era railroad tunnel), Callan finds folds and boudinage that formed during Appalachian mountain-building.
7 May 2021
On his way to get his COVID vaccine, Callan visits a new outcrop showing folded and faulted strata of the Neoproterozoic Lynchburg Group.
16 April 2021
Friday means folds –
This week, we head to the Colorado Rockies for a butterfly-like presentation of a ptygmaticly folded granite dike within biotite schist.
22 May 2020
Some web research led to a serendipitous discovery and further exploration. Wherever you’re sheltering in place, you don’t have a view that’s this grand. Slip away for a few moments to the high country of Montana’s Glacier National Park, where an anticline may be seen in the towering cliffs…
22 November 2019
Because I’m putting together a field course for spring break 2020 to Death Valley California, I was looking through old Death Valley photos this week, from the last time I went to that special place. It was seven years ago! How time flies… This one is in Mosaic Canyon, and was taken by my student Marcelo Arispe, a talented photographer as well as a talented geologist: By the standards of …
11 October 2019
A moderate mesoscale monocline at Watern Cove, Newfoundland, shows off multicellular animal fossils of the Ediacaran Mistaken Point Formation.
11 July 2019
Traveling in Newfoundland, Callan visits a seaside outcrop showing a Proterozoic submarine slump complex, overprinted by tectonic cleavage and weathered by the sea.
27 July 2018
Hiking Siyeh Pass in Glacier in Glacier National Park on Tuesday with my Montana State University field course, we spotted a few new folds in the Empire Formation (a transitional unit between Helena Formation and Grinnell Formation). Here is one of the students serving as a sense of scale, with interesting features on either side of him: On the left, there are small scale folds in a regular little train: …
18 October 2017
The 2017 Virginia Geological Field Conference had a heavy arkose infusion. Meet some of these feldspar-rich Neoproterozoic sediments of the Lynchburg Group.
28 July 2017
It’s Friday! How about we celebrate with a beautiful kink fold from a gorgeous national park?
15 April 2017
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 …
6 April 2017
The evidence for a meteorite impact origin for the Stoer Group’s Stac Fada member seems to stack up. Engage in a virtual field investigation on Mountain Beltway.
21 December 2016
Remember the diamictite I featured here a few weeks ago, from Islay? It was the one that might be a Snowball Earth diamictite. Well, if you follow Snowball Earth science at all, you’ll doubtless be aware that the glaciogenic sediments are characteristically overlain by “cap” carbonates. There’s a stratigraphic successor to the Port Askaig Tillite, too – it’s called the Bonahaven Dolomite. Unlike what you might expect for a cap …
9 December 2016
It’s Friday! Today’s fold comes to you from Neoproterozoic metasediments on the west side of Islay, at Machir Bay.
30 November 2016
One fun thing about examining the Port Askaig Tillite in the field is to find odd-shaped exemplars of the unit lying on Islay’s beaches. My favorites were shaped like wands, or antennae, or perhaps the drumsticks freshly detached from a Thanksgiving turkey… a big clast at one end and then a thin septum of the finer-grained matrix to hang on to: Here’s an example: The shape results from differential weathering …
29 November 2016
The Port Askaig Tillite is a Neoproterozoic diamictite on the eastern shore of Islay (Scotland) that may record a “Snowball Earth” glaciation.
29 October 2016
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 …