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15 May 2020

Friday fold: Argentinian turbidites

Zoltán Sylvester brings us this Friday’s fold: And there’s more where that came from: These are deepwater strata of the Lower Cretaceous Rio Mayer Formation, exposed near Lago Argentino, Argentina, south of the lake’s northwest “arm,” about here. They were deformed so exquisitely during Andean mountain-building. Zoltán is a talented photographer, and you should check out more of his work here.

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25 April 2019

How We Got To Now, by Steven Johnson

I was very impressed with Steven Johnson’s The Invention of Air when I read it last summer. So recently, I decided to sample another of his books, this one a six-part microhistory about innovations that altered the course of human history. The six are: 1) cleanliness/hygiene (specifically in medicine and drinking water), 2) measurement of time, 3) glass (think lenses!), 4) understanding of light, 5) refrigeration, and 6) the recording …

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8 March 2019

Friday fold: Dent de Morcles

The Friday fold is a recumbent anticline/syncline pair, deforming the K/Pg boundary in the Swiss Alps, as photographed from the air by Bernhard Edmaier.

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25 June 2018

Mafic volcanics atop felsic instrusives: Sonora Pass, California

Sonora Pass, California, is a lovely place to examine a volcanic-on-plutonic nonconformity that spans about 80 million years of missing time. Let’s check it out on a photo-rich virtual field trip!

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24 April 2018

T. rex and the Crater of Doom, by Walter Alvarez

Walter Alvarez has a new book out, and its publication reminded me that though I read and appreciated The Mountains of St. Francis, I had never read his most famous work — the account of how he and his father and a team of other researchers zeroed in on an extraterrestrial impact explanation for the end-Cretaceous extinction. So last week I read T. rex and the Crater of Doom (1997). …

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27 November 2017

Visiting the K/Pg boundary at Bottaccione Gorge, near Gubbio, Italy

A trip to one of the most famous outcrops in the world, a place with a stratum that marked a profound shift in the state of the planet, and a profound shift in geologic thinking. Plus, for the author, it’s a romantic journey back in time.

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3 October 2016

A virtual field trip to Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

Rathlin Island lies north of mainland Northern Ireland, a few miles offshore. I spent three lovely days there this past summer, investigating the geology and appreciating the wildlife (puffins and other sea birds, and seals). The geology is pretty straightforward: Paleogene basalt overlying Cretaceous “chalk” (really not so chalky here – technically, it’s the Ulster White Limestone). Here’s a suite of interactive imagery that you can use to explore Rathlin’s …

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27 March 2016

Another trio of 3D models

Here are three more of my Photoscan-generated, Sketchfab-hosted 3D models of rock samples: Mud cracks in Tonoloway Formation tidal flat carbonates, Corridor H, West Virginia: Diorite from the eastern Sierra Nevada of California: Vein cross-cutting foliated & lineated gneiss, Blue Ridge basement complex, Virginia:

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20 March 2016

3D and GIGAmacro views of Cerro Toro conglomerate

Six years ago, I went to Patagonia*, and collected this sample there. It’s a deep-water conglomerate from the Cerro Toro Formation. I’ve imaged it here in two media: the Sketchfab-hosted (Photoscan-generated) 3D model, and GigaPan-hosted (GIGAmacro-generated) views of both the front and the back. In combination, these three digital items can probably give you a pretty good sense of the sample: Link Link _______________________ * In case you missed it …

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4 December 2015

Friday fold: interference patterns on Elba

Samuele Jæger Papeschi shares one more fold with us: some deformation here… type III (Ramsay…) interference pattern in Cretaceous calcschists… Cavo, Elba Island Awesome! I hope everyone has a great Friday.

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