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29 March 2011

Tillite in outwash

Hoo boy. This one made me yelp… While on the glacial geology of western Pennsylvania trip last Saturday, we visited a gravel quarrying operation. The operators were extracting gravel from a glacial lake delta deposit, and it was full of glacial outwash — sediments washed out from the melting front of the Erie lobe of the Laurentide ice sheet. We were there to look at the Pleistocene features, but several …

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4 December 2010

Reduction rims?

Another look at Konnarock Formation diamictite, showing colorful reaction “halos” around some clasts.

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1 December 2010

The Konnarock Formation

A detailed description of one of the Virginia Blue Ridge’s most intriguing geologic formations: a maroon sedimentary sequence showing the advance of “Snowball Earth” glaciers in the Neoproterozoic.

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21 September 2010

EARTH: the biography, by the BBC

Last week, I watched the BBC/National Geographic series “EARTH: The Biography,” hosted by Iain Stewart. Stewart is a charismatic host, with a thick Scottish accent that cannot disguise his enthusiasm for geology. The five episodes focus on: volcanoes, ice, oceans, atmosphere, and “rare planet.” Overall, I thought the series did an good job covering some of the greatest stories in geology with an emphasis on presenting the latest ideas. Snowball …

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8 March 2010

When the Sturtian happened

Last Friday, I spent the evening riding up to New York on a bus. To pass the time, I had my iPod and a new paper by Francis Macdonald and colleagues in Science. The paper examines the timing of one of the episodes of “Snowball Earth” glaciation. There’s some important new data in this paper, and it helps constrain the “Sturtian” glaciation in time. So here’s the deal with Precambrian …

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