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11 July 2019

A submarine slump complex at Sandy Cove, Newfoundland

Traveling in Newfoundland, Callan visits a seaside outcrop showing a Proterozoic submarine slump complex, overprinted by tectonic cleavage and weathered by the sea.

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27 July 2018

Friday fold: new folds from the Empire Formation, Glacier National Park

Hiking Siyeh Pass in Glacier in Glacier National Park on Tuesday with my Montana State University field course, we spotted a few new folds in the Empire Formation (a transitional unit between Helena Formation and Grinnell Formation). Here is one of the students serving as a sense of scale, with interesting features on either side of him: On the left, there are small scale folds in a regular little train: …

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18 October 2017

VGFC 2017: Limbs of arkose

The 2017 Virginia Geological Field Conference had a heavy arkose infusion. Meet some of these feldspar-rich Neoproterozoic sediments of the Lynchburg Group.

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28 July 2017

Friday fold: Big kink fold in Grinnell Formation

It’s Friday! How about we celebrate with a beautiful kink fold from a gorgeous national park?

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15 April 2017

Basement xenoliths in Catoctin Formation, Compton Pass

My son and I hiked Compton Peak in Shenandoah National Park this morning, and saw these two lovely examples of xenoliths. The example above is small, but it shows clearly the difference between the coarse, felsic basement rock (Mesoproterozoic granitoid, comprising the xenolith) and the surrounding fine-grained dark green metabasalt of the Catoctin Formation (Neoproterozoic). Here’s another, bigger example: These two Blue Ridge examples both illustrate the principle of relative …

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6 April 2017

Stac Fada

The evidence for a meteorite impact origin for the Stoer Group’s Stac Fada member seems to stack up. Engage in a virtual field investigation on Mountain Beltway.

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21 December 2016

Stromatolites of Bunnahabhain

Remember the diamictite I featured here a few weeks ago, from Islay? It was the one that might be a Snowball Earth diamictite. Well, if you follow Snowball Earth science at all, you’ll doubtless be aware that the glaciogenic sediments are characteristically overlain by “cap” carbonates. There’s a stratigraphic successor to the Port Askaig Tillite, too – it’s called the Bonahaven Dolomite. Unlike what you might expect for a cap …

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9 December 2016

Friday fold: Machir Bay I

It’s Friday! Today’s fold comes to you from Neoproterozoic metasediments on the west side of Islay, at Machir Bay.

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30 November 2016

“Drumsticks” of Islay tillite

One fun thing about examining the Port Askaig Tillite in the field is to find odd-shaped exemplars of the unit lying on Islay’s beaches. My favorites were shaped like wands, or antennae, or perhaps the drumsticks freshly detached from a Thanksgiving turkey… a big clast at one end and then a thin septum of the finer-grained matrix to hang on to: Here’s an example: The shape results from differential weathering …

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29 November 2016

Islay’s Port Askaig tillite

The Port Askaig Tillite is a Neoproterozoic diamictite on the eastern shore of Islay (Scotland) that may record a “Snowball Earth” glaciation.

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