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You are browsing the archive for June 2011 - Mountain Beltway.

29 June 2011

Block Mountain basalt flow

This year, for the first time ever, I took students to map at Block Mountain, a classic field camp mapping site near Dillon, Montana. Here’s a quick look (enlarge it by a gazillion-fold by clicking through) of some columnar jointing in the Eocene Block Mountain basalt flow, a paleo-drainage turned mountain through the miracle of topographic inversion… This is where it outcrops along the Burma Road… not bad at all.

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27 June 2011

Team Rockies 2011

Our field class visited the Museum of the Rockies yesterday. Here’s the full team!

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Goose Egg / Tensleep contact

West of Shell, Wyoming, on route 14, there is a lovely exposure showing the tilted stratigraphic contact between the lower Tensleep Formation (purple; Pennsylvanian period) underneath Goose Egg Formation (orange/tan; Permian to Triassic in age). The contact dips to the west because it has been deformed during Laramide mountain-building (uplift of the Bighorn block, and downdropping of the Bighorn basin). Here’s a gigapan to show the contact:

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26 June 2011

A pretty cool rock

Can you tell me why I am very excited to be holding this rock in my hand? (iPhone photos; apologies for the low quality. But the rock… is anything but low.)

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25 June 2011

A major discovery

Visiting Butch Dooley and crew on a dinosaur dig in the Jurassic Morrison Formation on Wednesday morning, I did a lot of wandering around the area, dubbed the Two Sisters site. I noticed something in the sandstone at the top of one hillock, and thought it looked like a sauropod footprint: (The depression is filled in with modern mud.) I took a photo, and thought, I need to ask Butch …

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24 June 2011

Friday fold

A boulder outside the door of the Geological Museum in Laramie, Wyoming. Purty, parasitic, passive folds… Happy Friday. My field course starts tomorrow here in Bozeman. I’ll soon have a lot less time for blogging. Brace yourself.

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23 June 2011

U.S. Geoblogger Tour 2011

These are the geobloggers that I was privileged enough to hang out with this last week, in chronological order: Steve Gough of Riparian Rap: Ed Adams of Geology Happens: Evelyn Mervine of Georneys: Alton Dooley of Updates From the Vertebrate Paleontology Lab: Garry Hayes of Geotripper: Geobloggers are good people. They blog because they like to share their enthusiasm for the geosciences, and this also makes them fun people to …

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Bookshelfing in the Rockfish Conglomerate

Another thing I saw last week in the Rockfish Conglomerate were several nice examples of “bookshelfing,” which is when a rock or mineral fractures into pieces, and the pieces slide down relative to their neighbors, like a set of encyclopedias slumping outward on a bookshelf. This has the effect of shortening the grain/clast in one direction, and elongating it in another direction: Ever seen anything like that? If so, where? …

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22 June 2011

The Rockfish Conglomerate

Callan presents a gazillion photos from a field trip to examine the Rockfish Conglomerate, a potential Snowball Earth glacial outwash facies from the Neoproterozoic of the Virginia Blue Ridge province.

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21 June 2011

Geology LOLcats 4

A scene from last Thursday morning, when I left DC: Crossing from Colorado to Wyoming today; Bozeman tomorrow night!

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