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13 November 2020

Friday fold: stairsteps in the Tonoloway

A quick “Friday fold” that is expressed in three dimensions – “stairstep” style folds deforming a bed of Tonoloway Formation dolostone…

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8 May 2020

Friday fold: Wills Mountain Anticline

Eric Fulmer (who pitched in with last week’s Friday fold) returns this week with another treasure. He writes, I was in Hopeville, WV a couple of years ago. The entire area between Cabins and Hopeville is a real joy (geologically and recreationally) as some of the most resistant rocks of the Mid-Atlantic Appalachians are folded and exposed in quick succession and with great relief. I am particularly fond of seeing …

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1 May 2020

Friday fold: Hopeville Anticline

Reader Eric Fulmer has contributed a fold as a balm for the end of another week of COVID-19 self-quarantine. Check it out: Eric writes, I was in Hopeville, WV a couple of years ago. The entire area between Cabins and Hopeville is a real joy (geologically and recreationally) as some of the most resistant rocks of the Mid-Atlantic Appalachians are folded and exposed in quick succession and with great relief. …

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23 January 2018

A kid and his slicks

On a family hike, Callan’s son finds some interesting smooth lines on a rock. What are they? What do they tell us? Tune in for a brief history of Appalachian geology.

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11 August 2017

Friday fold: Eagle Rock

For the Friday fold, Callan digs out images of Eagle Rock, Virginia, well aged in his digital archive for a decade!

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23 May 2017

Silurian tidal flat carbonates of the Tonoloway Formation

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.

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30 June 2016

Virtual field trip to Siccar Point, Scotland

Time for another virtual field trip on the Geologist’s Grand Tour of the United Kingdom: the most famous outcrop in the world. Today, we visit Siccar Point, Scotland. You’ve probably already seen photos of this place – they usually look something like this: To those who aren’t familiar, here’s what going on: There are two sets of strata here – and the contact between them is an ancient erosional surface. …

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9 June 2016

Storm deposits in Tonoloway Fm. limestone – a virtual sample

Our series of  virtual samples continues! This week, I’m presenting examples of a visualization combination that leverages the advantages of the GIGAmacro system with the 3D ‘virtual sample’ perspective of the Sketchfab-hosted model: the same sample presented in both formats. Today, we feature a lovely slab of limestone, chock full of fossil material, and showing both primary sedimentary structures like graded bedding and cavity fills (both geopetal indicators), but also …

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16 May 2016

Trace fossils in the Massanutten Sandstone

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 …

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2 May 2016

3D models to spin and twist

More 3D models: digital facsimiles of real rock samples. Check them out and explore! Clinker from the Powder River Basin, Wyoming: [sketchfab id=”afb351be49f04c8eab1acc29a8a2bcfb” start=”0″ spin=”” controls=”0″] Ripple marks from the Rose Hill Formation, West Virginia: [sketchfab id=”6b56924ee2f84dd2821c4cb30e4869f9″ start=”0″ spin=”” controls=”0″] Meta-komatiite from the Red Lake Greenstone Belt, northern Ontario, Canada: [sketchfab id=”53dc4d161c974d7b86f70639062551e0″ start=”0″ spin=”” controls=”0″]

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27 March 2016

Another trio of 3D models

Here are three more of my Photoscan-generated, Sketchfab-hosted 3D models of rock samples: Mud cracks in Tonoloway Formation tidal flat carbonates, Corridor H, West Virginia: [sketchfab id=”49cfc017248e44c2aa8b8bcdfa18facd” start=”0″ spin=”” controls=”0″] Diorite from the eastern Sierra Nevada of California: [sketchfab id=”36184956acb94476ae84569b8fbc300b” start=”0″ spin=”” controls=”0″] Vein cross-cutting foliated & lineated gneiss, Blue Ridge basement complex, Virginia: [sketchfab id=”1ebf2edc042d4cdf9493d0ff7963aff5″ start=”0″ spin=”” controls=”0″]

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23 December 2015

Four new GIGAmacro images of sedimentary rocks

It’s been a week and a half since Mountain Beltway has seen any publishing action, given the overlapping timesucks of the AGU Fall Meeting and the end of the semester. But now I’m back in the Appalachian mountain belt, and my grades are all in, and I have time to think about indulgences like blogging again. Let me make up for it now with a suite of four new macro …

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5 October 2015

Trace fossils in the Juniata and Tuscarora Formations

Route 33 in Pendleton County, West Virginia cuts across the lower Paleozoic stratigraphic section. I went there this past spring on a sedimentology and stratigraphy field trip with the GMU sed/strat class. The trip was orchestrated by professor Rick Diecchio. Here are some scenes from two of the stops – the upper Ordovician Juniata formation (red sandstones and shale intepreted as Taconian molasse) and the overlying Silurian Tuscarora Formation (thick …

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21 January 2015

Bloomsburg Formation in GigaPan

Three images, working our way in from outcrop setting to hand sample: [gigapan id=”168000″] link [gigapan id=”168012″] link [gigapan id=”163085″] link These fine red sandstones are the Silurian-aged Bloomsburg Formation, as it crops out in Fort Valley, Virginia. What would we see if we kept zooming in? …Stay tuned…

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16 December 2014

Buzzard Rocks

Back in 2011, when we were still living in D.C., Lily and I made a hiking trip out to Buzzard Rocks. It was a destination. Now that I live out here in the Fort Valley, I see Buzzard Rocks all the time, and I love it. It’s such a cool feature – a spot on the crest of the hill where you can see the slabby expression of steeply-dipping beds …

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13 November 2014

Gypsum casts? You be the judge — UPDATE: Syneresis cracks!

Silurian aged mud cracks feature small lensoidal features: are they casts of ancient gypsum crystals?

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25 June 2014

Pemaquid Point, Maine

Pemaquid Point, Maine, is a locally-owned and -managed park near an old lighthouse. I went there yesterday with my family. We’re on vacation in coastal Maine for a week. At Pemaquid Point, the action of waves have cleaned the rocks, and they offer a delightful three-dimensional look at Acadian-aged metamorphics and granite pegmatite dikes, with a fair amount of structural geology superimposed on the whole lot. Learn more about the …

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4 June 2014

Faults in the Tonoloway Formation, Corridor H

Here’s something fun: Click to enlarge Those strata are Silurian-aged Tonoloway Formation carbonates. There are plenty of dessication cracks to be seen, as well as salt casts, among the layers exposed. But more eye-catching at this distance is the faulting that disrupts the high-contrast layers… Both (apparent) normal and reverse faults can be seen in this road cut. Exciting stuff! We visited it two weeks ago on “Border to Beltway’s” …

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25 February 2014

Carbonate mudcracks in cross-section (Tonoloway Formation)

While on Corridor H 2 weeks ago with Alan Pitts, we stopped astride the Patterson Creek Mountain Anticline, with extensive road cuts displaying Tonoloway Formation overlying Wills Creek Formation. We love this spot for its lovely folds and halite casts. See what I mean? [gigapan id=”103090″] link [gigapan id=”142740″] link This time, however, my eye was drawn to the prodigious quantities of mudcracks to be seen in side-view (that is, …

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19 October 2013

Halite casts from Tonoloway Formation under the GIGAmacro lens

The work of team M.A.G.I.C. continues. This is a lovely sample quartet of salt cast samples from Silurian-aged Tonoloway Formation limestone. I collected these samples on Corridor H’s newly-opened section west of Moorefield, West Virginia, last spring. The big one at the bottom was collected by my friend Leigh Henry, who graciously loaned it to M.A.G.I.C. for imaging purposes. [gigapan id=”142740″] link This GigaPan turned out well in some regards, and …

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