You are browsing the archive for igneous Archives - Mountain Beltway.
17 November 2018
Watch the flow of frictional melt in a “fossil earthquake,” frozen in time atop the South Mountains metamorphic core complex in Phoenix, Arizona.
1 March 2018
As noted previously, the old way of viewing gigapixel imagery is no more. But there is a new, better way. The GIGAmacro company has a better viewing platform that can be used either with images uploaded to their server or with pre-existing images that currently “live” at GigaPan.com. Here’s an example: a roadcut of limestone of the Grudaidh Formation (Durness Group) in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland, near Ardvreck Castle, …
8 February 2018
A detailed examination of an elegant photo of the eastern front of California’s Sierra Nevada, from the perspective of the Alabama Hills. How many different geologic phenomena can be packed into a single image? Let’s find out!
12 January 2018
In keeping with the Arizonarific theme of this week’s posts (thanks to my participation in the 2018 Structural Geology and Tectonics Forum), I thought I would wrap up my ‘geology of the Phoenix area‘ posts with a walk I took on my last day there. This was to what Google Maps calls “Hayden Butte,” but the locals call “A Mountain.” Not “a mountain,” but “the mountain called ‘A‘.” It has …
11 January 2018
A visit to Papago Park, north of Tempe, Arizona, reveals hanging wall rocks from the South Mountain detachment fault, a long way from South Mountain. Also, feast your eyes on these gorgeous red sedimentary breccias, interpreted to be landslide deposits from the Neogene.
2 November 2017
This morning on Twitter I was reminded of komatiites, those “extinct” ultramafic lavas that were relatively common eruptions during the Archean. I’ve actually got a good number of komatiite photos to share from my time last year in South Africa’s Barberton Greenstone Belt. But since time is short this morning, I’ll start with a short photo set of three images, all showing different aspects of how these ultramafic rocks weather …
22 September 2017
It’s the First Friday of Fall! Here’s a sort of fold to help you celebrate: a section through a ∧ shaped bend in a vesicular basalt flow from the eastern flanks of Mount Etna in Sicily. It’s due to volcanic lava flowing rather than ductile deformation of a pre-existing solid rock (our usual habit with this feature), but I think we can appreciate it regardless:
15 July 2017
I collected only a single rock on my summer travels in France and Italy. (Those of you who know me will realize how extraordinary this low number is!) It’s a flow-banded rhyolite from Vulcano, in the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily a few weeks ago. It contains porphyritic vesicular basalt xenoliths. I featured a similar sample on Twitter yesterday on the occasion (supposedly) of “International Rock Day”: For #InternationalRockDay , …
15 April 2017
My son and I hiked Compton Peak in Shenandoah National Park this morning, and saw these two lovely examples of xenoliths. The example above is small, but it shows clearly the difference between the coarse, felsic basement rock (Mesoproterozoic granitoid, comprising the xenolith) and the surrounding fine-grained dark green metabasalt of the Catoctin Formation (Neoproterozoic). Here’s another, bigger example: These two Blue Ridge examples both illustrate the principle of relative …
25 January 2017
A basalt flow in Iceland shows both enticing pahoehoe and fractures with a Y-shaped intersection pattern. Comparisons to bread loaves and east Africa suggest a reason why.