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29 January 2021

Friday fold: revisiting the Geoscience Communication Pardee Symposium

I have two Friday folds for you today, both by geovisualizers who contributed to the 2019 Geological Society of America Pardee Symposium on Geoscience Communication in Phoenix, Arizona: The first is a painting by talented geoartist Emma Theresa Jude, showing a fold at Caithness, Scotland. The fold in question can be seen at the site of Figure 5 of this paper. I love Emma’s art. What other lovely folds have you …


9 October 2020

Friday fold: Torcross

Looks like we’re sticking with the U.K. for Friday folds, for the time being… This lovely beast comes to us from Torcross, via Danny Stubbs, who shared it on Twitter this past week. That’s from the Meadfoot Group of slates, cross-cut by quartz veins. In this follow-up image, Danny shares that sometimes the quartz veins have enjoyed some folding too: Happy Friday to all.


2 October 2020

Friday fold: Northumberland

For the Friday fold this week, we travel to Northumberland, U.K. for this beautiful fold pair: Robert McKibbin posted this image on Twitter this week, and graciously allowed me to feature it here. Thank you Robert! Happy Friday to all.


11 September 2020

Friday fold: Boscastle, Cornwall

A hilly region of Cornwall, U.K. features beautiful folding, and a fuzzy field assistant!


29 January 2019

The Parallel Roads of Glen Roy

What can we learn from Scotland’s Parallel Roads of Glen Roy?


1 March 2018

A GIGAmacro view of a cool outcrop in Scotland

As noted previously, the old way of viewing gigapixel imagery is no more. But there is a new, better way. The GIGAmacro company has a better viewing platform that can be used either with images uploaded to their server or  with pre-existing images that currently “live” at Here’s an example: a roadcut of limestone of the Grudaidh Formation (Durness Group) in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland, near Ardvreck Castle, …


2 February 2018

Friday fold: 3D model from the Portsoy Shear Zone

The Friday fold is a really cool 3D model of differentially-weathered calc-silicate rocks in Scotland that were folded during the Caledonian Orogeny.


3 January 2018

The Old Man of Hoy, a sea stack in Orkney

A sea stack on the west coast of Orkney showcases Devonian sedimentary strata and implies terrific storm waves in its geomorphology.


An odd mystery rock from Shetland

Any readers have any idea what this strange rock is? It’s got wild patterns! These samples were in the garden of a local rockhound in Lerwick; I have zero idea what the mineralogy is; I was just stunned by the “scale-like” pattern of gray and pink. I’d be eager to hear your ideas what this might be. Thanks very much in advance!


1 June 2017

The geology of the Yesnaby coast, Orkney

Ahhhh, a raw Scottish coast. …Let’s go there. There’s sedimentology to be learned here, and coastal geomorphology to be ogled. This is Yesnaby, on the west side of Orkney. The rocks there are part of “the Old Red Sandstone,” a neat package of Devonian strata, flavored here and there with an igneous dike, a fault, etc. But overall, I’d like to focus on the strata. The strata I saw at …


3 May 2017

Storm beaches have I loved

The answer to yesterday’s geo-puzzle is revealed to be a storm deposit of boulders, 20 m above sea level!


12 April 2017

Weathering along perpendicular joint sets, Arran

Check this out: That’s a beautiful example of weathering in a dolerite dike on Arran. The igneous rock was broken along two more or less perpendicular joint sets, and then fluid flow along those fractures helped “rot” the adjacent rock through oxidation and hydrolysis. The resulting brownish weathering rind  grows at the expense of the unweathered black rock. Because there is more surface area at the corners of the rock …


6 April 2017

Stac Fada

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.


9 March 2017

Lugworm casts on the beach, Islay

Who dwells beneath the sands of Islay? Lugworms do. These embedded annelids process the sediment for food, extruding the undigested sand in charismatic piles that adorn the beach of Loch Gruinart.


3 March 2017

Friday fold: Kink folded Dalradian metasediments

Let’s reminisce back to the Walls Boundary Fault on the Ollaberry Peninsula of Shetland today. Here’s a 3D model to go along with the ones I posted last time: It’s a little ragged, but so am I at the end of the workweek! Happy Friday. Have fun spinning this thing.


2 March 2017

A virtual field trip to the Grind of the Navir

On the northwestern coast of the Northmavine Peninsula of Shetland, there is an unusual coastal landform: a gate-like entrance to an elevated amphitheater, like something out of Tolkien, and a storm beach of slab-like boulders inland of that.


1 February 2017

An oddball at Eshaness

In eastern Shetland, the sea chews away at the innards of a Devonian stratovolcano. But there’s an odd visitor there too – and we’re not talking about the blogger.


26 January 2017

Dore Holm

The scenic arch of Dore Holm (“Door Island”) in Shetland shows off the most efficient way of breaking a slab of rock. The island’s shape is a reflection of the parsimonious nature of natural deformation.


23 December 2016

Friday fold: Machir Bay II

Another loose, 3D fold from the north side of Machir Bay, Islay. Wish I could have brought it home to dwell in my lab… Happiest of Fridays to you! The solstice is now past, and the days are getting longer in the northern hemisphere for the next 6 months! Cheers to that!


22 December 2016

Dikes at Bunnahabhain

Yesterday I blogged the stromatolites to be seen in northeastern Islay, south along the shore from the distillery at Bunnahabhain. The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that in this GigaPan, there’s more going on than merely Neoproterozoic carbonates: [gigapan id=”189616″] Link 1.46 Gpx GigaPan by Callan Bentley There’s also a prominent dolerite dike, weathering out recessively. A photo, centered on the GigaPanned dike: This is but one of several …