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5 August 2015
An outcrop of Silurian-aged Rose Hill Formation in West Virginia reveals excellent examples of ripple marks and trace fossils.
30 April 2015
Looking at Ordovician carbonates in Germany Valley, West Virginia, a few weeks ago on Rick Diecchio’s GMU sedimentology and stratigraphy course field trip: Lots and lots of brachiopods… Crinoid columnals mized with brachiopods: A set of coarsely-infilled trace fossils: Crinoid stem: Nice strophomenid brachiopod: Bryozoan? Receptaculid?
24 March 2014
Here’s a sweet little sample of migmatite (~470 Ma late Ordovician Taconian Orogeny, U/Pb date from zircon), that my students and I spotted last week on the Billy Goat Trail, downstream of Great Falls in Maryland’s metamorphic Piedmont province: Note the white translucent quartz, the orangey (partially kaolinitized and rusty stained) opaque potassium feldspar, and the shreds of biotite torn and tangled between them: I love the fact that I …
20 March 2014
Today, I initiate a series of posts based on some of the geology I saw over spring break, in west Texas and southern New Mexico, on the field exchange between Northern Virginia Community College and El Paso Community College that I helped facilitate. We spent our first morning in the field in the Franklin Mountains, due north of El Paso (and, for that matter, Ciudad Juarez). It was unseasonably cold …
2 May 2013
Callan and his family visit a Virginia winery that features tasty libations and chunky nautiloid fossils, both products of the same local geology…
29 March 2013
The Friday fold photo was taken this morning on a GigaPanning expedition, and shows a small syncline within turbidite strata of the Martinsburg Formation, Page Valley, Virginia.
21 March 2013
During Alleghanian deformation (late Paleozoic), the Cub Sandstone we looked at yesterday was tilted to near vertical at Catherine Furnace. The shale layers developed cleavage at this time, and there was evidently some flexural slip between sandstone layers, to judge from these fine slickensides: Students: Can you deduce the sense of motion from the orientation of the structures in this sample? (Hint: note the directions the “steps” face…)
12 March 2013
Yesterday, I took five new GigaPans at Thoroughfare Gap, a water gap where Broad Run cuts through Bull Run Mountain, the eastern limb of the Blue Ridge Anticlinorium at my latitude. The rocks here are the Cambrian-aged Chilhowee Group, with bedding tilted moderately to the east during Alleghanian mountain-building in the late Paleozoic. To the west is the crystalline core of this massive regional fold, and to the east is …
21 November 2012
An outcrop of the Ordovician-aged Martinsburg Formation is used to illustrate the development of slaty cleavage, and hence a major transition in the Rock Cycle.
6 June 2012
Here’s another video, wherein I’ve made some improvements from the last one (reserved the lower right corner for the webcam “talking head” video inset, and adjusted the microphone for fewer audio blowouts). It’s still not perfect – there’s a disconnect between the audio and the webcam video that becomes more and more pronounced throughout the course of the video, but it’s a step in the right direction. The Alleghanian Orogeny: …