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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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5 December 2017

The quarry in Contessa Gorge

Central Apennine stratigraphy and structure is on display in the wall of a quarry in Contessa Gorge, Italy. Have a look a nice normal fault and a submarine mass transport deposit.


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27 November 2017

Visiting the K/Pg boundary at Bottaccione Gorge, near Gubbio, Italy

A trip to one of the most famous outcrops in the world, a place with a stratum that marked a profound shift in the state of the planet, and a profound shift in geologic thinking. Plus, for the author, it’s a romantic journey back in time.


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12 August 2015

Student guest post: the Belt Supergroup in Glacier National Park

As longtime readers know, late summer is when my Rockies students submit their final projects – web-based explanations of key geologic sites they examined during the trip. Today, I offer you a guest blog post by student John Leaming. You’ll notice that I’m not *completely* absent from the post, however – I make a couple of cameos as “sense of scale.” Enjoy, -CB ______________________________________________________________ Glacier National Park, Belt Supergroup I …


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30 October 2012

Geology and wine in northern Virginia, part II: the Valley & Ridge

Callan attends the Geological Society of Washington’s fall field trip, examining the relationship between grape-growing and the underlying geology of two provinces in northern Virginia: the Blue Ridge and the Valley & Ridge. With GSW compatriots, Callan visited Hume Vineyards in the central Blue Ridge province and North Mountain Vineyard and Winery in the Shenandoah Valley. This is part II of the field trip report.


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18 September 2012

Stratigraphy session

What are these students up to? I’ll give you a hint: this is Dinosaur Provincial Park in the Great Plains of southern Alberta. The badlands style topography here offers a nice vertical section through clastic sedimentary rocks originally deposited adjacent to the Western Interior Seaway. On our Canadian Rockies field course in July, my co-instructor Pete Berquist (from Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Virginia) led an afternoon exercise in …


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29 May 2012

Snowball students visit the University of Maryland

The final meeting of my spring semester Snowball Earth class was a field trip to the University of Maryland, hosted by Snowball guru Jay Kaufman, a specialist in chemostratigraphy using stable isotopes. Here, Jay welcomes the class to his wet lab: Doing chemostratigraphy takes lots of samples. Here’s a drawer full of samples from one of Jay’s many field areas: Then it was time for show and tell. Jay brought …


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12 May 2012

Ernst Cloos’ notes on the western Blue Ridge

Handwritten notes by Ernst Cloos (legendary structural geologist from Johns Hopkins University) on the area I visited last Monday on a field review of the new geologic map of the Elkton East quadrangle by Chelsea Jenkins, Chuck Bailey, Mary Cox and Grace Dawson.


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11 April 2012

Blue Ridge Thrust Fault field trip

One of Callan’s former students leads a field trip to examine the western edge of the Blue Ridge geologic province, attempting to answer the question of whether the Blue Ridge / Valley & Ridge contact is indeed the trace of a thrust fault. Breccias and S-C fabrics tell part of the story…


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6 March 2012

Plane views

Some views from the airplane, over southern Wyoming (first two photos) and north-central Nevada (last four), last Saturday morning… A canyon: …and zooming in to the middle area of the previous photo: Strata upwarped into a structural dome (that has been “planed off” to be topographically horizontal, revealing a bull’s-eye-shaped outcrop pattern, then differentially weathered and highlighted by snow: Salt flat (playa lake + playa) in the Basin & Range …


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