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7 December 2018

Welcome to D.C. for #AGU2018

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.

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9 November 2018

Friday fold: gneiss from the Southside Virginia Piedmont

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

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26 October 2018

Friday folds: Mather Gorge Formation

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 …

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21 September 2018

Friday fold: quartz veins in metagraywacke of the Mather Gorge Formation

It’s Friday! Here’s a lovely sight, contributed by reader Fred Atwood: Those are quartz veins in one of my favorite local rock units, the Mather Gorge Formation. Fred reports, This is at Madeira School in Great Falls between Black Pond and the Potomac. The rocks around Great Falls, particularly those on the Billy Goat Trail’s “A” Loop, are exemplary in many regards. That’s why I am taking my Physical Geology …

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27 January 2017

Friday fold: the Bradshaw Layered Amphibolite

The Friday fold can be found along the Fall Zone, where crystalline metaigneous rocks of the Piedmont meet the gently sloping strata of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Contemplate their high metamorphic grade and their tight folding, and imagine the mighty mountains that once rose on this spot.

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24 May 2016

Nine new GigaPans from Team M.A.G.I.C.

Alethopteris fern fossil: Link GIGAmacro by Robin Rohrback Rapid River Canyon, Idaho: Link GigaPan by Callan Bentley River cobble of brecciated Columbia River Basalt, Hammer Creek (Salmon River), Idaho: Link GIGAmacro by Callan Bentley Petersburg Granite exposed at Belle Isle, Richmond, Virginia: Link GigaPan by Jeffrey Rollins Ammonite: Link GIGAmacro by Callan Bentley Slickensides in ultramafic rocks of the Wallowa Terrane, just outboard of the paleo-Laurentian tectonic margin, Salmon River, …

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3 August 2015

The Sykesville Formation, in 6 new GigaPans

As part of my work on the GEODE project, I’m always looking for good imagery to teach key concepts in geoscience. One important concept that I’ve been thinking about lately is the principle of relative dating on the basis of inclusions. Just as you can’t bake a loaf of raisin bread without already having raisins in your kitchen, rock units that are included in another rock unit must be older …

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29 July 2015

Positively-weathering volcanic dike near Granby, Colorado

My friend Barbara am Ende sent along this lovely image of a dike in Colorado: Here’s the site. You can see the dike in Google Earth. Dikes are fractures, filled with molten rock, which then cools and solidifies, sealing the crack shut. In this case, once it got uplifted to Earth’s surface and exposed, the dike rock is tougher (more resistant to weathering) that the older rock it cut across. …

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8 December 2014

Fluvial geomorphology of Mather Gorge

What hath the Potomac River wrought on the rocks of Mather Gorge? Some interesting shapes to the land surface reveal a fascinating history.

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10 November 2014

Root wedging: a recent example

What is Kenny pointing at here? Why, it’s a boulder. Where did it come from? Look uphill: This is as perfect an example of root wedging as I’ve seen! Spotted it last Friday along the C&O Canal towpath.

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