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30 December 2017

Normal faulting in the San Felipe Volcanic Field, New Mexico

A glance out the airplane window over New Mexico triggers a bit of web research and a new view of tectonic extension via Google Earth and geologic maps.

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7 November 2016

Coastal colluvium + coal contest in context

Here’s the answer to the contest: This is an outcrop on the beach at Funzie Bay, Fetlar, Shetland, U.K. The modern beach sediment is the lightest-colored, rounded cobbles at both the top and bottom of the photo. Poking out in between is a layer of light-gray colluvium (angular fragments) overlain by dark peat, now perhaps approaching lignite. Because peat in Shetland cloaks the hillsides but is unlikely to grow a …

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3 November 2016

A “triple tombolo” in northern Shetland

We’ve taken a look already at an exemplary tombolo from Shetland. Today, I’m dialing up the tombolosity of the blog with a Triple Feature: Click to make much larger (8000 pixels wide) If you look closely here, you’ll see that only the rightmost bar fully connects the two islands. It’s the only true tombolo, sensu stricto, at this site. The other two perhaps deserve another name, though I’m not sure …

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11 October 2016

A virtual field trip to Portrush, Northern Ireland

One of my favorite places in Northern Ireland is the east side of the peninsula that hosts the tourist town of Portrush. There, two early schools of geological thought engaged in a battle. The opposing sides were: the Neptunists, who thought all stratified rocks, and in particular basalt, must form from precipitation from the sea, and the Plutonists, who thought some rocks, including basalt, formed through intrusion of molten rock …

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21 April 2016

Firsthand reports from Canoa, Ecuador after the quake

Callan’s mother-in-law lives in one of the most strongly-shaken regions of Ecuador. Here, she and her boyfriend recount the experience of the earthquake Saturday night and its aftermath. Includes 8 photos from the scene.

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27 October 2015

Corridor H virtual field experience

My Historical Geology class was in for a new experience for the semester’s capstone field trip. Before we headed out into the field (to the exceptional roadcuts along Corridor H in Grant and Hardy Counties, West Virginia), we had them examine all the outcrops virtually, in the comfort of the classroom, using digital imagery. I say “we” because this initiative was a collaboration with my colleague Alan Pitts, who developed …

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7 August 2015

Friday fold: Yin-Yang at Swift Dam

What is Matt looking at here? Matt was one of my Rockies students this summer, a geology major at the University of Virginia. Together with another UVA student and students from Mary Washington University and George Mason University, Matt embarked on a mountain-climbing hike during our evening camping at Swift Dam, near Depuyer, Montana. The hikers were treated to an extraordinary sight when they attained the summit: Click to embiggen; …

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27 March 2015

Friday fold: Isla Escarpada, Chile

I’m very nearly delinquent on posting the Friday fold… Here you go – a Google Earth view of a differentially-weathered fold partly above and partly below sea level in Chilean Patagonia, south of Puerto Natales: They call it Isla Escarpada. Awesome. Here’s a Google Maps link if you want to explore it yourself. Happy Friday!

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5 December 2014

Friday folds from the Shenandoah River

My student Josh B. found this beautiful map view of a plunging fold in the bed of the Shenandoah River, as viewed in Google Earth: Josh posted his results on Facebook, and then the other Josh (Joshua Villalobos of El Paso Community College) poked around the area and found some others downstream (north): Here’s a Google Maps link to the site. Check it out!  

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9 October 2014

In search of Santorini’s blueschist, part 1: into the Valley of the Shadow of Ash

While in Santorini, Greece, your humble geoblogger braves a warm afternoon to search the hillsides for evidence of subduction.

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