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7 December 2018

Welcome to D.C. for #AGU2018

A summary of resources to learn about the geology of Washington, D.C. and the surrounding region, in anticipation of AGU’s Fall Meeting being held in the nation’s capital city.

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9 February 2017

Gabion

Do you remember the blog post four years ago about documenting the doomed outcrops at Scientists’ Cliffs, Maryland? It was the site of gorgeous Miocene fossil exposures in the Calvert Formation. Here’s what the site looks like now: Photo by Peter Vogt   That ugly thing at the base of the cliff is a gabion, protecting the houses on the clifftop and making fossil access impossible. I’m glad we got …

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8 December 2016

Silent samples, holey samples

Two very different samples tell stories that are full of holes. What’s going on with this weathered sandstone? What’s going on with this fossil scallop shell?

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14 April 2015

Compare and contrast: Two Chesapectens

Two new GIGAmacro images of fossil scallops from Virginia’s Coastal Plain – Chesapecten nefrens: link Chesapecten jeffersonius: link My vision is to get the opposite side of each of these samples as well as a half-dozen other species in this genus, perhaps even multiple individual specimens of each species, to allow students to do a lab where they plot morphological changes over geologic time as an example of what the …

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28 May 2014

B2B Coastal Plain trip

Last week, the “Border to Beltway” field exchange team went to Dora Kelly Park in Alexandria, Virginia. There, a ravine reveals the boundary between the Coastal Plain and the underlying metamorphic rocks of the Piedmont… My NOVA colleague Ken Rasmussen joined us for the day, leading us deep below the soil profile to examine the basal nonconformity beneath our youngest geologic province: The ravine was dark, so the next few …

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5 March 2013

Documenting doomed outcrops: Scientists’ Cliffs, Maryland

The community of Scientists’ Cliffs in Maryland is a private community that happens to sit on some of the most amazing fossil exposures in the Coastal Plain. The strata in question are part of the Miocene-aged (~14 Ma) Calvert Formation. The Scientists’ Cliffs outcrops are better than the more famous outcrops at Calvert Cliffs State Park, mainly because of easier access. At the park, you have to hike in a …

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18 June 2012

My new commute

Callan describes the geology along his new commute from the Fort Valley east to the Annandale campus of NOVA. The driving route traverses the Valley & Ridge, Blue Ridge, and Piedmont provinces, including the Culpeper Basin, and stops just shy of the Coastal Plain.

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8 February 2012

“Got migmatite?”

Had this brainstorm a few weeks back (or maybe months?). Been meaning to blog it up, but hadn’t gotten the chance to flesh it out. The geologic map of the Commonwealth comes from Chuck Bailey of William & Mary, who gave me permission to use it for this project. Anyhow – do you think there are enough Virginia geology nerds out there that I could sell these bumper stickers at …

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29 September 2011

Salt dough physiographic province map of Virginia

By local prodigy Hannah Holland, elementary school student: Click through to make it bigger and see some details. Nice work, Hannah! Very impressive, and thanks for sharing!

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27 August 2011

Why those curves, Rock Creek?

On Tuesday morning, before the earthquake hit, I answered an e-mail about DC faults. I get unsolicited e-mails all the time (and occasionally phone calls, too). The contact comes from people who have a geological question, find my blog, and figure that I might be willing to answer it for them, or to direct them to someone more knowledgeable. Sometimes they ask me to identify a rock. I see answering …

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