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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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6 June 2011

DCSWA tour

Yesterday, I took about fifteen members of the DC Science Writer’s Association on a walking tour of DC’s geology. I was honored to present the capital city’s epic geologic story to an esteemed crowd of professional science writers from Nature, Science, the National Academies, the National Institutes of Health, the Washington Post, and other institutions. Here are a few photos that Harvey Leifert took on the trip: …Evidently I gesticulate …


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22 May 2011

New hallway display: geologic provinces of northern Virginia

Callan shows off a new hallway display in his building at Northern Virginia Community College, showcasing the numerous geologic provinces of northern Virginia (as well as adjacent mid-Atlantic states).


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29 October 2010

Geology of the Richmond area field trip

On Saturday, after a fruitful 24 hours at the VCCS Science Peer Conference, my colleague Pete Berquist (of Thomas Nelson Community College) and I led a field trip to examine the geology of the Richmond, Virginia, area. We were joined by seven of our VCCS science-teaching colleagues and author Lisa Starr, a speaker at the conference. We started off by driving down to Belle Isle, an island located on the …


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15 September 2010

Aeolian sand in Hampton, VA

This video was produced by my friend Pete Berquist. It shows rapidly moving “sheets” of sand saltating down Grandview Beach in Hampton, Virginia, during high winds associated with Hurricane Earl. What do you notice here? A couple of things jump out at me, but I’d be curious to hear what this video makes Mountain Beltway readers think about…


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21 May 2010

Falls of the James III: river work

In today’s post, I’ll finish up with my geologic discussion of the falls of the James River in Richmond Virginia, south of Belle Isle. Previously, we’ve examined the bedrock at this location (the Petersburg Granite) and a series of fractures – some faults and some extensional joints – that deform that granite. Now we come to the final chapter in this story — the story of the river carving up …


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18 May 2010

Falls of the James I: pluton emplacement

Last Friday, NOVA colleague Victor Zabielski and I traveled down to Richmond, Virginia, to meet up with Chuck Bailey of the College of William & Mary, and do a little field work on the rocks exposed by the James River. Our destination was Belle Isle, a whaleback-shaped island where granite has been quarried for dimension stone for many years. The island has also served as a Confederate prison for captured …


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