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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 …
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. …
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.
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.
31 October 2014
Friday fold: Four folds from VGFC
Here are four folds from the Potomac Terrane (or maybe an “exotic unit” that looks like the Potomac Terrane, butted up against the Potomac Terrane) that I saw on the 2014 Virginia Geological Field Conference back in October. It was an overcast, rainy day, so I apologize for the relatively low quality of these images. Happy Friday!
28 May 2014
B2B Coastal Plain trip
Last week, the “Border to Beltway” field exchange team went to Dora Kelly Park in Alexandria, Virginia. There, a ravine reveals the boundary between the Coastal Plain and the underlying metamorphic rocks of the Piedmont… My NOVA colleague Ken Rasmussen joined us for the day, leading us deep below the soil profile to examine the basal nonconformity beneath our youngest geologic province: The ravine was dark, so the next few …
11 April 2014
Friday fold: kink from the Billy Goat Trail
My student James O’Brien took this image of a kink band along the Billy Goat Trail, downstream of Great Falls in Maryland’s metamorphic Piedmont province. A lovely little structure, don’t you think? Thanks, James! Happy Friday, all.
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 …
22 November 2013
Friday fold: metagraywacke from the Billy Goat Trail
Here’s a sample that my Physical Geology students see on their field trip to the Billy Goat Trail:
30 April 2013
Strained metaconglomerate in Klingle Valley, DC
Following on yesterday’s post about the kink bands within the strained metagraywacke of the Laurel Formation in DC, let’s take the opportunity today to go to Klingle Valley, site of a different facies within the Laurel Formation: a strained metaconglomerate. Though the exposure isn’t as great as the Purgatory Conglomerate, I think you’ll find plenty to hold your attention in these rocks. Close looks will reveal sericite-after-staurolite pseudomorphs (evidence of …