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24 March 2011

North Pole, South Pole, by Gillian Turner

I was sent a review copy of a new book about the Earth’s magnetism, and I finished reading it last week. It’s called North Pole, South Pole: The Epic Quest to Solve the Great Mystery of Earth’s Magnetism, and the author is Gillian Turner, a senior lecturer in physics and geophysics at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. Here’s a link to the book on Amazon. It’s a book about …


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22 December 2010

GoSF4: Kirby Cove

Part 4 of the ongoing series examining the geology of the San Francisco area. In today’s post, Callan visits Kirby Cove in the Marin Headlands, where intensely deformed chert can be found on one end of the cove, pillow basalts on the other, and an “artificial dune” in the middle.


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21 December 2010

GoSF3: Chert

Episode three in the multi-part series on the geology of San Francisco. This post focuses on the chert layers of the Marin Headlands


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19 December 2010

GoSF1: Introduction and overview

The first in a multi-part series on the geology of San Francisco and the surrounding area.


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6 December 2010

Gerede segment of the North Anatolian Fault

The author recounts a field trip in October along the section of Turkey’s North Anatolian Fault that last ruptured in 1944. The rock types on either side of the fault are compared, offset markers are illustrated, and several types of landforms particular to strike-slip faults are shown. The post concludes with an examination of the town of Gerede itself, which is built directly atop the fault.


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26 October 2010

Tavşanlı Zone field trip, part 3

Picking up where we left off last time, we were in some partly-serpentenized peridotite, part of the Burham Ophiolite in Turkey’s Tavşanlı Zone, an ancient tectonic suture. Our next stop on the field trip allowed us to visit some diabase dikes: Here’s a close-up of the right contact of the dike with the host peridotite: The field notebook’s long edge is ~18 cm. And here it is again, annotated: Near …


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20 October 2010

Tavşanlı Zone field trip, part 1

Before the Tectonic Crossroads conference two weeks ago, I had the good fortune to participate in a Istanbul-to-Ankara geology field examining the Tavşanlı Zone, a tectonic suture zone where a portion of the Tethys Ocean basin closed. This paleo-convergent boundary is marked by a suite of interesting rocks, including blueschists, ophiolites, and eclogites. I’d like to share with you some of the things I saw along the trip. This is …


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20 September 2010

Champlain thrust fault

Over the summer, I went up to Vermont to visit my friends the Clearys. Joe Cleary is a college friend and a talented luthier. He and his wife Tree and their children Jasper and Juniper have settled in Burlington, a lively town with a lot of cool stuff going on. Joe took time out one morning to show us a superb example of a thrust fault on the shore of …


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29 April 2010

Mineral phantasms?

Ice… serpentine… halite… What do they all have in common? I’ve discussed mineral “ghosts” here before — really, those are only pseudomorphs, where one mineral’s chemistry becomes unstable due to a change in conditions, and then a new mineral forms in the same space. I’ve also brought up the issue of clasts of minerals which are unstable over the long term (ice). Last night, at the final meeting of the …


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25 March 2010

Transect debrief 5: sedimentation continues

We just looked at the Chilhowee Group, a package of sediments that records the transition for the North American mid-Atlantic from Iapetan rifting through to passive margin sedimentation associated with the Sauk Sea transgression. Well, if we journey a bit further west, we see the sedimentary stack isn’t done telling its story. The saga continues through another two pulses of mountain building. Consider this “unfolded, unfaulted” east-west cross-section cartoon: Part …


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