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25 December 2014

The stromatolites of Helen Lake 1: photos

The exquisite stromatolites of Helen Lake, Banff National Park, are presented in photographic and GigaPan renditions. Enjoy unwrapping them as your “Christmas gift” from Callan.

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24 December 2014

A rock slide and a protalus rampart (?) on the trail to Helen Lake

A hike to Helen Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, brings your intrepid geoblogger face to face with a fresh landslide and a curious landform parallel to the glacial valley. Is it a pro-talus rampart?

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23 December 2014

More oncoids (from the Peyto Formation?)

Two years ago, I posted on some interesting structures my students and I saw at Consolation Lakes, near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. They were little concretions, “oncoids” roughly speaking, and may have indicated (thanks Howard!) that the boulders were sourced to the Peyto Formation, a Cambrian carbonate within the Gog group: The purpose of today’s post is to confirm that these structures are still there two years later, …

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22 December 2014

Digitate stromatolites

Want to see something cool? Itty bitty stromatolites… like baby’s fingers! There’s a big weathered-out stylolite at the base of this stromatolite-bearing layer, too.   These elfin stromatolites are part of the boulder in the lower left (foreground) of this GigaPan, taken at the Icefields Center parking area in Jasper National Park, Alberta: link

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21 December 2014

Self destruction of a shale boulder

“Kablooey!”

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19 December 2014

Friday Fold: Mist Mountain Formation in Canmore, Alberta

Let’s journey to the Cretaceous today, to see sandstones, shales, and even some coal strata that have been folded during the eastward thrusting that built the Canadian Rockies. Here’s the same fold, in context, shot in GigaPan on a different day, from a different angle. Can you match it up? link Ben Gadd showed me (and my field class) this site last summer. It’s a little west of Canmore. There’s …

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18 December 2014

One for the ichnologists

For those inclined toward trace fossils… …This is from Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. I saw it on the trail to Consolation Lakes from Moraine Lake. I do not recall rock type – could be dolostone, could be Gog quartzite. It’s float (loose; not in situ), but I infer the photographed surface is the underside of the bedding plane; I’d be fine being totally wrong about that, though. There are …

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12 December 2014

Friday fold: Miette slate, Alberta

The Friday fold returns to Canada, looking at Neoproterozoic slate and quartzite at the southern terminus of the Icefields Parkway. Bonus features include ripple marks, graded beds, cross-bedding, cleavage, and boudinage.

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27 October 2014

Yamnuska

Driving west from Calgary, your first evidence of entering the Canadian Rockies’ Front Ranges is the startling sheer cliff of Yamnuska, north of the Trans-Canada Highway: Yamnuska’s shape is a function of differential weathering of the two rock units that make up the mountain: Cambrian Eldon Formation limestone, and Cretaceous shales of the Brazeau Formation. The Cambrian is the uppermost of the two, which is a violation of superposition, considering …

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19 September 2014

Friday fold: Miette Group anticline in Banff National Park, Alberta

Here’s an outcrop of Miette Group slate, seen at the intersection of the Icefields Parkway with the Trans-Canada Highway, just north of Lake Louise, Alberta: There’s a lovely anticline just to the right of Zack, who obligingly provided a sense of scale. Also note how cleavage which is subparallel to bedding on the far left side of the outcrop, becomes perpendicular to bedding along the crest of the anticline… Happy …

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