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30 November 2022
Another glimpse of sand on the beach at Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica… This time, I offer you a trace of an organism moving through the wet sediment: Note the two parallel lines of tracks laid down by little feet, and the central groove that overprints them. It reminded me very much of this similar arrangement, from near St. Andrews in Scotland, but: (1) this is the underside of a bed …
26 March 2021
Friday folds: 3D models by Sara Carena
It’s Friday, and it’s been a few Fridays since I offered you a fold. Let me make up for that with five Friday folds today, all from the incredible collection of free 3D models by Sara Carena on Sketchfab. Sara is a senior scientist/lecturer in Geology at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. Absolutely super models of absolutely super folded rocks. Well done, Sara! Viewing these should get everyone’s weekend off on …
5 February 2021
Friday fold: a new 3D model
Here’s a good sample, another one I inherited from Declan de Paor when he retired from Old Dominion University. It’s an interesting sample – I guess I’d call it a graphitic clay shale, but it’s surprisingly lightweight, so I’m not super confident that’s right. The bedding surfaces are glossy and slick, indicating some flexural slip between the layers. In terms of composition: It’s too beautiful to cut up and make …
19 June 2020
Friday fold: Scaglia Rossa chevrons at Lago di Fiastra
My friend Alan Pitts is orchestrating a virtual field camp for George Mason University this summer, utilizing outcrops in central Italy’s Apennine Mountains. Here’s a 3D model he just posted of one of the most impressive outcrops there: the chevron folds in the Scaglia Rossa limestones at Lago di Fiastra. I featured the site as a Friday fold 3 years ago when Alan took me there in person, but this …
2 April 2019
Spying on Whales, by Nick Pyenson
A book by Nick Pyenson (of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History) details the past, present, and future of whales. Combining paleontology, oceanography, environmental awareness, evolution, and history with personal stories of field work and insight, it’s a compelling tale of modern science on charismatic, mysterious creatures.
22 August 2018
Q&A, episode 5
A reader asks: “What is foliation and what makes it so important to the structure of rock?”
Callan answers with a lot of images of beautifully foliated rocks.
25 May 2018
Friday fold: 3D model of intense folding
This is a block of rock I found in the rock garden at Northern Arizona University a few weeks ago: It’s intensely folded. Not sure what kind of rock it is, but it was quite dense.
26 March 2018
Raider of the Lost Anticlines
A solo hike in search of anticlines yields new outcrops and good views!
14 March 2018
New media to show off exemplary features of the Devonian-aged Hampshire Formation along Corridor H, West Virginia
Last week, I was in Morgantown, West Virginia, to deliver a colloquium talk to the geology department at West Virginia University of geological visualization. The next day, I took some time on the way home to geologize a bit on the road called Corridor H, a gorgeous transect through the eastern Allegheny Plateau and western Valley & Ridge provinces. I focused that day on the Hampshire Formation, Foreknobs Formation, and …
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.