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11 July 2016

Kilometer to millimeter: 4 GigaPans to zoom in on Lewisian gneiss

I’m in the North-West Highlands of Scotland, enjoying spectacular geology and less-than-spectacular weather. I’ve been fairly productive on the GigaPan front, regardless, nipping outdoors when the weather permits to shoot outcrops and landscapes. One set I’m particularly pleased with is this suite of four images. They show the Archean-aged Lewisian gneiss, the oldest rock unit in the North-West Highlands, as exposed on a beachside outcrop east of Durness, Sutherland. The …

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7 July 2016

Tombolo at St. Ninian’s Isle, Shetland

I came to Shetland for the rocks – but I’ve been surprised and delighted by the huge range of interesting coastal geomorphology to be seen here too. I’ve never seen so many sea stacks, wave-cut cliffs, and bayhead bars in my life. One that is so “classic,” so “textbook” that I couldn’t resist it, is the tombolo that connects St. Ninian’s Isle to mainland Shetland. In Google maps, it couldn’t …

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4 July 2016

Virtual field trip to Kinkell Braes, Scotland

Virtual field trip to Kinkell Braes, Scotland

Walking along the shore east from St. Andrews, Scotland, along the seaside sandstones of Kinkell Braes, you encounter several extraordinary examples of geology. It’s a great place for the next stop on our Grand Tour of the geology of the British Isles. Here’s the scene: The first stop is a giant eurypterid trackway, potentially the largest invertebrate trackway in the world (Whyte, 2005), on the underside of an overhanging sandstone …

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30 June 2016

Virtual field trip to Siccar Point, Scotland

Virtual field trip to Siccar Point, Scotland

Time for another virtual field trip on the Geologist’s Grand Tour of the United Kingdom: the most famous outcrop in the world. Today, we visit Siccar Point, Scotland. You’ve probably already seen photos of this place – they usually look something like this: To those who aren’t familiar, here’s what going on: There are two sets of strata here – and the contact between them is an ancient erosional surface. …

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28 June 2016

“Dunbar marble” at Barns Ness, Scotland

"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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25 June 2016

A virtual field trip to the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

A virtual field trip to the Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

Some of planet Earth’s best examples of basaltic cooling columns are found at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. In this post, explore four different kinds of interactive digital media as a way of experiencing the Causeway virtually, from the comfort of your computer.

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21 June 2016

Porphyritic rhyolite dike seen on the beach at Cushendun

Porphyritic rhyolite dike seen on the beach at Cushendun

At the opposite end of the beach at Cushendun, Northern Ireland, we found some outcrops of schist – I’ll be featuring some of them as Friday folds later this week. But cutting across the schist was a pink porphyry, with big well-formed potassium feldspars. I splashed some water from the Irish Sea onto it to increase the contrast: Here’s a handheld GigaPan image, so you can explore it for yourself. …

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16 June 2016

Dimmuborgir, Lake Mývatn, Iceland

Last week, I was in Iceland, driving around the country’s Ring Road and checking out its amazing geology with my family. We had a great time in particular exploring in the Lake Mývatn region, on the country’s subaerial expression of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Lake Mývatn itself is in a rift basin, peppered with a great variety of volcanic and hydrothermal features. One spot we enjoyed a short stroll was in …

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10 June 2016

Green River Formation stromatolite – a virtual sample

Today concludes a weeklong run of  virtual samples. For the past five days, I’ve been presenting examples of a visualization combination that leverages the advantages of the GIGAmacro system with the 3D ‘virtual sample’ perspective of the Sketchfab-hosted model: the same sample presented in both formats. Today, we finish up with a stromatolite from the hypersaline Wilkins Creek member of the Eocene-aged Green River Formation of southwestern Wyoming: Link GIGAmacro …

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9 June 2016

Storm deposits in Tonoloway Fm. limestone – a virtual sample

Our series of  virtual samples continues! This week, I’m presenting examples of a visualization combination that leverages the advantages of the GIGAmacro system with the 3D ‘virtual sample’ perspective of the Sketchfab-hosted model: the same sample presented in both formats. Today, we feature a lovely slab of limestone, chock full of fossil material, and showing both primary sedimentary structures like graded bedding and cavity fills (both geopetal indicators), but also …

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