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25 June 2018

Mafic volcanics atop felsic instrusives: Sonora Pass, California

Sonora Pass, California, is a lovely place to examine a volcanic-on-plutonic nonconformity that spans about 80 million years of missing time. Let’s check it out on a photo-rich virtual field trip!

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6 October 2016

Oddball Icelandic rocks, part I: A green ignimbrite

Iceland does basalt really, really well. But there are a few non-basaltic igneous rocks to be found there, too. One of them is a green ignimbrite (pyroclastic conglomerate) that crops out in coastal Berufjörður, eastern Iceland. Check it out!

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30 August 2016

Northwest Highlands unconformities (3 of 3): Sub-Ardvreck

It’s time to cover the third and final unconformity I observed this summer in the North-West Highlands of Scotland: the unconformity between the Neoproterozoic Torridonian Group below and the Cambrian Ardvreck Group above. Where I saw it, south of Loch Assynt on the mountain called Beinn Garbh (north of Canisp), it actually is displayed alongside the sub-Torridonian unconformity. The mountain hosts a “double unconformity”! Here is a view, looking south: …

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22 August 2016

Northwest Highlands unconformities (2 of 3): Sub-Torridonian Group

Let’s now profile the next unconformity in the sequence of pulses of erosion and deposition recorded in the North-West Highlands of Scotland. For a reminder, here’s a cartoon cross-section through the four relevant units: Today, we’ll look at the contact between the Lewisian Gneiss and the Torridonian Group (Diabeg Formation), marked with a “2” on the cartoon above, where it is exposed along the shore of Loch Assynt. There are …

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16 August 2016

Northwest Highlands unconformities (1 of 3): Sub-Stoer Group

First in a series profiling the three unconformities to be found in the North-West Highlands of Scotland. Today: the sub-Stoer unconformity as exposed at Clachtoll. Explore a Proterozoic buried topography topped with coarse, angular breccia.

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26 February 2016

Friday fold: Siccar Point video from BGS

The British Geological Survey just came out with a new video on Siccar Point, featuring some excellent drone video of the site (in very good weather!). In addition to the unconformity, one of the things you will appreciate about the video is an excellent end-on view of a plunging synform exposed just above waterline: You’ll get a much better sense of its shape by enjoying the motion of the drone’s …

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7 October 2015

The New Market / Lincolnshire contact

Yesterday, I put a photo up here on the blog, and asked you to figure out where the formational contact was in that image. Here’s the image I showed you: It turns out that my plan to have readers upload their copies of the image didn’t work as well as I had planned – apparently you all don’t have as complete a suite of control options as I do. Shocker! …

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28 May 2014

B2B Coastal Plain trip

Last week, the “Border to Beltway” field exchange team went to Dora Kelly Park in Alexandria, Virginia. There, a ravine reveals the boundary between the Coastal Plain and the underlying metamorphic rocks of the Piedmont… My NOVA colleague Ken Rasmussen joined us for the day, leading us deep below the soil profile to examine the basal nonconformity beneath our youngest geologic province: The ravine was dark, so the next few …

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26 March 2014

The Great Unconformity in the Franklin Mountains

Good morning! Let’s take a walk up the east side of the Franklin Mountains, north of El Paso, Texas, to walk across the Great Unconformity. The basement rock exposed here is the Red Bluff Granite, a 1.1 Ga felsic magma that intruded the columnar basalts of the Mundy “Breccia” and the Castner Marble. (It is unknown what substrate the Castner Marble was deposited upon.) This is what the Red Bluff …

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6 March 2014

Puzzling over the Wallbridge Unconformity along Corridor H

The Wallbridge Unconformity is a surface of stratigraphic hiatus or erosion between the depositional influence of the Tippecanoe and Kaskaskia epeiric seas. After Alan Pitts and I located ourselves in the Oriskany Sandstone (terminal Tippecanoe stratum), we looked stratigraphically above the quartz sandstone for the overlying unit, which should be the Needmore Formation shale (beginning of the Kaskaskia sequence). Indeed, the quartz sandstone was overlain by a black shale at …

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