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11 June 2010

River landscape evolution

I’ve developed a little cartoon diagram to show four stages of river landscape evolution. I use this image in Physical Geology when discussing how running water erodes the land. Check it out: There are two rows, and four columns. The columns are the four stages of river landscape evolution: youth, maturity, old age, and rejuvenation. The rows offer different perspectives on the landscape: the upper row is a map view, …


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10 June 2010

Graph beauty: T vs. viscosity for lavas

I spent the day lazily reading the igneous petrology chapters of Petrology by Blatt, Tracy, and Owens (third edition, 2006). Last time I read it, I didn’t get all that much from the igneous section, but this time around that’s the thing that motivated me to delve into it again. I don’t remember enough about igneous petrology from my school days, and while I have a little breathing room this …


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9 June 2010

What does Callan see here?

Tell me why I took this iPhone picture, and I’ll mail you a GEOLOGY ROCKS bumper sticker! Answer in the comments below…


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8 June 2010

Do they make a MORB sticker too?


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7 June 2010

A day in the field

I spent last Thursday on a long field trip in the Valley and Ridge province of northernwestern Virginia. Leading the trip was Dan Doctor of the USGS-Reston. Accompanying Dan was a UVA environmental science student named Nathan. And the NOVA crew rounded it out: professor Ken Rasmussen from the Annandale campus, associate professor Victor Zabielski from the Alexandria campus, and me. We met at the Survey at 9am, and headed …


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6 June 2010


Heat-stressed map of the Chesapeake Bay / Washington, DC region, as seen at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Looks like mudcracks, eh? Similar stresses; similar strains.


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4 June 2010

Straight nautiloid fossil

It seems I forgot to show this fossil when I found it in February of last year with my MSSE advisor John Graves. We were out in the Needmore Formation of the Fort Valley then. The Needmore is a formation I visited again yesterday with some colleagues in other outcrops further to the west. In shade (penny for scale): In sideways-angled sunlight (thumb for scale): I’ll debrief yesterday’s field trip …


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3 June 2010


World! …I have an announcement! Three of my structural geology students from this past semester are now geoblogging… can’t say I had anything to do with that, but there it is. They are: Joe Maloney at Fossiliferous Weekly Aaron Barth at Got The Time and “AlanP” at Not Necessarily Geology Please check them out, and give them positive reinforcement. These are three bright young men with strong geological careers ahead …


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2 June 2010

1453, by Roger Crowley

So,  I think I dropped a hint here that I was planning to travel to Turkey this summer. Lily and I will be there from the end of June until the middle of July. (And I’ll be going back in October for the Tectonic Crossroads conference.) In preparation for a trip like this, I enjoy doing some research and reading some books. There are a lot of books about Turkey, …


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1 June 2010

Butter Buster animation

A million years ago, I posted about my inaugural attempt to use the Butter Buster to illustrate shear zone deformation to my structural geology students. Today, using the UnFREEz program to make an animated GIF (Thanks, Lockwood!), I give you the Butter Buster animation:


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