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29 September 2017

Friday folds: soft sediment deformation in thin sections of MTD sandstone

The Friday folds are small soft-sediment deformational features within a dismembered, folded sandstone (a “ploudin”) from a mass transport deposit from the latest Devonian of West Virginia.

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11 January 2017

More Messengers from the Mantle

Since I showed off the 3D kimberlite intrusion breccias yesterday, I feel as if I owe you some other photos from that lovely exhibit at the IGC. I apologize for the poor quality of these photos – the gorgeous samples were behind glass and brightly lit, which made photography difficult. But the rocks are sooooooooo pretty, I think you’ll enjoy viewing them just the same. Let’s start with a gargantuan …

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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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23 April 2016

Mineral surfaces under the SEM: 6 new micro-GigaPans

As mentioned yesterday, my student Robin has been having some success lately in making GigaPan-scale imagery using the new desktop scanning electron microscope that our division acquired. They aren’t as super-high resolution as most of the other GigaPan images I post here, but they are very, very small – and thus expand the scope of our imaging initiative. Enjoy exploring: find cleavage planes, microscopic plumose structures, examples showing the constancy …

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22 April 2016

A suite of plankton S.E.M. micro-GigaPans

My student Robin has been working (on and off) for more than a year to figure out the best way to make GigaPan-scale imagery using the new desktop scanning electron microscope that our academic division acquired. There are several technical challenges to be overcome, each different, and some with ‘solutions’ that cause other problems. Dealing with all that takes time and has caused a lot of frustration. (We have a …

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16 December 2013

Monday microbugs: Looking through my new AmScope

Recently, I bought a microscope for home use. This has been a longtime goal for me. I’ve dreamed of having my own microscope the way some guys fantasize about a Porsche 911. It’s an AmScope model, and it has an attachment for a small digital camera that comes with the scope. While the scope is lots of fun, though a little small, I’ll admit that I’m not too impressed with …

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15 September 2011

Two pleochroism animated GIFs

Biotite in granite: Riebeckite: Fast and slow versions of each. Wanted to post these ASAP, so someone can use them for the Geology Word of the Week…

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9 March 2011

A portrait of the feldspar as a young mineral

A few microscope photos for you, showing close-ups of feldspars in igneous dikes in the Crazy Mountains of Montana… You’ve seen these rocks before, when I posted a few field photos from this area in August 2009. I took these images of feldspar phenocrysts in a hand sample (from a quartz latite dike) with my no-longer-brand-new Nikon microscope camera: There’s some nice compositional zoning going on in some of these …

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13 January 2011

Delicious dendrites

Hopefully seasoned readers of this blog will remember this nice chunk of limestone with pyrolusite (MnO2) dendrites growing on its surface. I took some close-ups with my Nikon microscope a few weeks ago. Here they are; enjoy! The width of the field of view in each photograph is about 1.1 cm: BTW, Mike likes dendrites, too.

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4 January 2011

Diamictite close-ups

Here’s three shots of the Konnarock Formation diamictite, taken with my Nikon microscope. Field of view is about 1 cm in each shot.

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