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24 November 2012

Benchmarking Time: Devil’s Coulee dinosaur egg site, Southern Alberta

This week’s benchmark is a unique one – not your usual NGS fare! It comes to you courtesy of Howard Allen, who says:

This is a quarry marker that the Royal Tyrrell Museum cements in place at their dinosaur fossil excavations around the Province of Alberta. This particular one marks a quarry at the Devil’s Coulee dinosaur egg site in southern Alberta, near the town of Warner. The quarry marker allows the locality to be precisely marked by GPS (and/or conventional survey equipment), so it can be found again in the future.


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12 October 2012

Field trip etiquette

I just spent three days on another great field trip to Bancroft, Ontario, and while I will post photos of the fabulous structural features we were observing, I thought I’d also put down some thoughts about how to comport yourself as a participant on a geology field trip. Some of this is fairly specific to students, but a lot of it goes for ‘grown up’ geologists as well (and hopefully we already know it!) Most of it is things I’ve observed people either doing well on a trip, or forgetting to do – it’s always a mix. (I screw these up myself from time to time, so it’s not like I’m a paragon of field trip virtues. I have to remind myself to do all this as well!)


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1 August 2012

Niagara terroir

No, nothing to do with the thrill of going over the Falls in a barrel, or anything like that. I’m talking about terroir – the combination of geography, geology and climate that contributes to a favorable environment for growing something. In this case, grapes! The Niagara frontier is one of the biggest wine producing regions in the US and Canada, and last week I had the chance to sample wines from the Canadian side of things.


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26 June 2012

Blown away by Bancroft: Part IV

On the last morning of our Bancroft field trip this past April, we continued our journey through the metamorphic faces diagram with a stop at an outcrop north of Bancroft on ON-28, in the amphibolite facies.


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18 June 2012

Blown away by Bancroft: Part III

On the second afternoon of our trip, we finally began moving out of the greenschist facies into the amphibolite facies – higher pressures, higher temperatures and a different set of minerals.


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12 June 2012

Blown away by Bancroft: Part II

On the second day of our Bancroft trip, we started out in the greenschist facies and moved on into the amphibolite facies of the metamorphic pressure-temperature diagram. And, of course, took lots of photos!


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6 June 2012

Blown away by Bancroft: Part I

Back in April, I finally had a chance to accompany the petrology classes from UB and SUNY Fredonia on UB’s annual trip to Bancroft, Ontario. I’ve been trying to go on this trip for years, and I’m glad I got to before I graduated, because, WOW. Bancroft is chock full of some pretty amazing things (especially if you’re into petrology, mineralogy, structure, glaciology, and pretty much everything else – it’s known as the ‘Mineral Capital of Canada’, for one!)


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4 May 2012

Bancroft (a preview)

I was hoping to publish a really great set of posts on my recent trip to Bancroft, Ontario (metamorphic petrology galore), but the blogs have been having a few issues with image uploading. So until I can both upload the photos I want and have the time to comment on them properly, this will just be a teaser post with a few photo highlights.

The point of the excursion was to examine a progression of metamorphic facies formed under medium (Barrovian) pressure/temperature conditions. So our trip took us from Greenschist to Amphibolite to Granulite facies, all the way up to the point where the rocks gave up metamorphosing and just started to melt instead (migmatites!) There were also a few detours to mines because hey, mines are fun, especially when they have sodalite. And leucite crystals as big as your face.


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