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2 August 2016

Oldest fossils in the UK: M.I.S.S. in Stoer Group, Scotland

This is the Split Rock at Clachtoll, on the shore of the North-West Highlands of Scotland. You’re looking out to sea, over the Minch. It’s the site that graces the cover of the excellent book A Geological Excursion Guide to the North-West Highlands of Scotland, by Kathryn Goodenough and Marten Krabbendam. “Clach toll” apparently means “Split rock” — Go figure. The Split Rock is an easy landmark to steer toward …

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28 June 2016

“Dunbar marble” at Barns Ness, Scotland

Thanks to the website ScottishGeology.com, run by Angus Miller, I learned of Barns Ness, a Mississippian-aged limestone fossil site on the shore not far from where we are staying at Dunbar. We ventured out there on Saturday afternoon, in search of fossils. The presence of the Dunbar Cemenet Works nearby is an indication that this is the most extensive limestone outcrop in central Scotland. I set my field assistant loose …

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24 May 2016

Nine new GigaPans from Team M.A.G.I.C.

Alethopteris fern fossil: Link GIGAmacro by Robin Rohrback Rapid River Canyon, Idaho: Link GigaPan by Callan Bentley River cobble of brecciated Columbia River Basalt, Hammer Creek (Salmon River), Idaho: Link GIGAmacro by Callan Bentley Petersburg Granite exposed at Belle Isle, Richmond, Virginia: Link GigaPan by Jeffrey Rollins Ammonite: Link GIGAmacro by Callan Bentley Slickensides in ultramafic rocks of the Wallowa Terrane, just outboard of the paleo-Laurentian tectonic margin, Salmon River, …

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26 April 2016

Brachiopodapalooza via GIGAmacro

Another week, another batch of new images produced on my home-based Magnify2 imaging system from GIGAmacro. This week, you can see that I’ve been on a real brachiopod tear – here are seven images of those two-shelled filter feeders from the Paleozoic… Link Link Link Link Link Link Link As always, enjoy exploring them for details.

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7 April 2016

New GIGAmacro images of rock samples

Another week, another batch of new images produced on my home-based Magnify2 imaging system from GIGAmacro. Leptaena brachiopod in (Mississippian?) limestone from Montana: Link Here’s the flip side of the same sample, with a lot of fenestrate bryozoans to see: Link Fault breccia from the Corona Heights Fault of San Francisco: Link Amygdular metabasalt from the western Sierra Nevada of California: Link Araucaria mirabilis gymnosperm cone fossil, from the Cerro …

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2 April 2016

Five new GIGAmacro images

Here are a few new images I’ve been working on with my home-based Magnify2 imaging system from GIGAmacro. Strophomenid brachiopods from Mississippian Mauch Chunk Formation, West Virginia: Link Boninite from New Caledonia: Link Lepidodendron scale-tree bark from Poland: Link Potassium feldspar crystal, from a pegmatite: Link Catoctin Formation greenstone from a feeder dike east of Linden, Virginia: Link Enjoy exploring them for details.

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17 February 2016

3D virtual sample of gastropod-rich Reynolds Limestone

Check this out: It’s a sample of the Reynolds Limestone, a member of the Mississippian-aged Mauch Chunk Formation, chock full of gastropod fossils. The image here is a 3D model made with Agisoft PhotoScan, a 3D model rendering program. The only input was a series of ~32 photos taken of the sample at various angles and orientations. Alan Pitts then posted it to his Sketchfab account, a place for displaying …

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27 January 2016

Remarkable Creatures, by Tracy Chevalier

I’ve been doing some reading lately to get some foundational ideas established in my mind for my upcoming summer trip to Europe. This trip has three goals: (1) to gather key digital imagery (GigaPans, 360° photospheres, video) for curriculum to teach geoscience concepts and give students everywhere with particularly instructive geology in Iceland, Ireland, the UK, France, and Spain, (2) to scout out locations and logistics for a Summer 2017 …

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23 December 2015

Four new GIGAmacro images of sedimentary rocks

It’s been a week and a half since Mountain Beltway has seen any publishing action, given the overlapping timesucks of the AGU Fall Meeting and the end of the semester. But now I’m back in the Appalachian mountain belt, and my grades are all in, and I have time to think about indulgences like blogging again. Let me make up for it now with a suite of four new macro …

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1 December 2015

Which way’s up? Check cavity fills.

When snail shells are deposited in a bunch of sediment, they serve as tiny architectural elements, with a “roof” that protects their interiors. Any sediment mixed into the shell’s interior will settle out (more or less horizontally), and then there will be empty space (filled with water, probably) above that. As burial proceeds and diagenesis begins, that pore space may be filled with a mineral deposit, such as sparry calcite. …

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