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15 September 2023
On a birding hike yesterday morning, I found this: This is a little slab of kinked phyllite of the Candler Formation. This metamorphic rock started as mud (and ash) deposited atop the Catoctin Formation, and it was later squeezed and heated during Appalachian mountain-building, encouraging the growth of micas at the expense of clay. A strong differential stress made sure those micas grew in one preferred orientation, and that resulted …
9 June 2023
Happy Friday, friends. Here’s a rock sample that I recently polished up: It shows crenulations in “pinstriped” schist of the western Piedmont in Pleasant Grove Park in Fluvanna County, mapped as the Mine Run Complex. Lovely stuff, eh?
7 June 2023
Callan recounts a little lesson in taking a photograph of an outcrop that expresses itself more readily to the novice eye.
3 February 2023
A return to the “video Friday fold” format:
2 December 2022
Two weeks ago was the annual Virginia Geological Field Conference, which was centered this year on the Goochland Terrane, an interesting block of crust in the Piedmont which shows some similarities to the Blue Ridge geologic province, but also shows some differences that suggest it’s not just a mini-Blue-Ridge. One of the best exposures was in Hidden Rock Park, where a series of “whaleback” outcrops expose things like this: There, …
1 July 2022
A quick Friday fold that I observed last month in a boulder of riprap at Chippokes State Park in Surry, Virginia. I have absolutely no idea where this rock was quarried; but it doesn’t look like anything I’m familiar with in Virginia, so maybe the Baltimore Mafic Complex??? Anyhow, it’s not native to the Coastal Plain, but it shows a pleasing fold train of green and gray amid the black …
24 July 2020
Exploring his new digs in Charlottesville, Callan is introduced to a large exposure of phyllite at a dam’s spillway. The foliation there is folded in many ways. Share in a dozen field photos of the site…
7 December 2018
A summary of resources to learn about the geology of Washington, D.C. and the surrounding region, in anticipation of AGU’s Fall Meeting being held in the nation’s capital city.
9 November 2018
Reader and former student Paxton DeBusk shared this lovely folded gneiss with me at the conclusion of the Virginia Geological Field Conference a few weeks ago: That’s a lovely hand sample, with a high folding:volume ratio! Happy Friday, all
26 October 2018
It’s been a very Billy-Goaty week for me. Three times since Sunday afternoon, I’ve taken people to the Billy Goat Trail’s “A” loop in C&O Canal National Historical Park. On Tuesday and Thursday, it was my NOVA Physical Geology students. On Sunday, though, it was just my son and me. Good news! He helped me discover a new fold by exploring some new rock outcrops and climbing on them. He …