7 February 2020

Friday fold: Kings Canyon

Posted by Callan Bentley

Link 2.56 Gpx GigaPan by Ron Schott

I was preparing for my spring break Death Valley field course this week, when I remembered that my friend and colleague Ron Schott had compiled a bunch of useful GigaPans of the sites there. Ron died a year and a half ago, you may recall. I went looking for them on a site he had built, GigaGeology.org, but the site has now evaporated in the absence of Ron maintaining it. (The Wayback Machine has archived some of its structure, but not its details.) Fortunately, the source imagery itself still exists on the GigaPan website, but it took some serious scrolling to find what I was looking for. Ron made a lot of GigaPans.

That scrolling was not without unexpected surprises, though. I found a 2012 GigaPan he made of our poster session at GSA, and found myself and my then-student (now-colleague) Robin in the image, as well as other geology friends at that meeting. And I found the image above, which is a stunning candidate for a Friday fold. Though I couldn’t ask Ron directly for his permission to use it here, I know he’d have approved.

Here’s what he had to say about it, with some clarifying additions from me:

Marbles of the Boyden Cave Roof Pendant in California’s Sierra Nevada show the results of deformation culminating with batholith emplacement. In addition to the intricate folding displayed here, don’t forget to appreciate the patterns that recent weathering has superimposed on the exposure. This GigaPan highlights the detail of the exquisitely folded marbles. A wider view that establishes a full context of this roadcut can be found here: www.gigapan.com/gigapans/135810

Garry Hayes has blogged about the site, and mentions that the folded rock is part of the Kings Terrane, with is Triassic/Jurassic in age.

This image and hundreds of others are part of Ron’s digital legacy, which is lessened through the loss of his own website, but I’m grateful that at least the raw, source imagery remains for us to learn from and be inspired by.