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9 December 2022

Pillbug tracks in ash from Mt. St. Helens

Reader Nancy Weidman (who supplied the Wind River boudinaged basaltic dike images from earlier in the week) sent me this interesting note: Your ichnoanalogue post reminds me of the insect or pillbug tracks I found in Mt. St. Helens ash deposited in Missoula, Montana. At least some of the tracks, if I recall correctly, ended in dead bugs, presumably dead after its breathing tubes clogged with ash. No fossils from …

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7 December 2022

The coastal section at Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica

Callan documents a geological stroll along the coast of Esterillos Oeste, in central southern Costa Rica, investigating the sequence of sediment in the Punta Judas Formation (Mid-Miocene) exposed there. Fossils, sedimentary structure, diagenetic features, structural deformation, and modern weathering all make prominent appearances.

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28 November 2022

Getting ripped

Patterns in the sand on a beach in Costa Rica…

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30 July 2022

Well-preserved mudcracks in Belt argillite, Glacier National Park, Montana

Fresh from the field, Callan shares a quintet of beautifully preserved desiccation cracks in Mesoproterozoic Belt Supergroups sediments, exposed in Montana’s geological gem, Glacier National Park.

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13 December 2019

Friday fold: blueschist & eclogite at Jenner, California

A pre-Fall Meeting field trip to the coast of northern California yields rare sights of garnet-bearing blueschist, plus eclogite, some pillow basalts, birds, waves, wind, and a lot of rain.

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30 August 2019

Friday fold: Calafia State Beach

The Friday fold is a guest contribution to “Mountain Beltway” from the manager of the AGU Blogosphere, Larry O’Hanlon. It shows apparent crumpling of a few sedimentary layers at the toe of a soft sediment slump at Calafia State Beach in southern California.

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20 May 2019

Digital manipulation as a teaching aid

Photoshop is a powerful image editing program. Its “cloning” tool allows the removal of “distracting” data from geological imagery. Examine these four examples and consider the ethical limits of the technique. Is it okay to remove fractures and lichens from an outcrop photo in order to allow novices to focus on the geological content you want them to learn from?

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18 March 2019

New discoveries in the Martinsburg Formation

A virtual field trip to examine some deepwater clastic sediments shed off the first phase of Appalachian mountain building, and deformed in the third phase. It’s a lovely day for a field trip to the late Ordovician!

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6 February 2019

Dalradian schist at Glen Roy

We saw last week how glaciation carved out a valley in Scotland called Glen Roy. As the glacier ground into the landscape, it liberated tremendous numbers of sedimentary particles from the bedrock, which is composed of Dalradian metamorphic rocks (mainly porphyroblastic schist in my observation). Then once that now-U-shaped valley had been deglaciated, a new glacier dammed it, making a lake that rose and filled the declivity of Glen Roy, …

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8 January 2019

Geology of the Galapagos Islands

Dozens of delectable geological images from the Galapagos Islands, showing fluid basalt flows and violent pyroclastic deposits along with many primary volcanic features (and a bit of sedimentology thrown in for good measure).

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