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25 June 2021

Friday fold: The Blue Ridge Tunnel

Inside the Blue Ridge (in an 1850s-era railroad tunnel), Callan finds folds and boudinage that formed during Appalachian mountain-building.

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7 May 2021

Friday fold: Lynchburg Group

On his way to get his COVID vaccine, Callan visits a new outcrop showing folded and faulted strata of the Neoproterozoic Lynchburg Group.

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20 January 2021

Peering through

When hiking recently in my neighborhood, I saw this gleaming apparition appear in an eroded gully in a dirt road: Those multicolored stripes are varying compositions in a zone of ultramylonite: ductilely-sheared-out rock that formed in the deep equivalent of a “fault” in the Blue Ridge basement complex. We call it a “shear zone” most of the time, but a better descriptor would be “high strain zone.” These rocks are …

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31 July 2020

Friday fold: Two Mile Run Overlook

I spied an anticline last weekend while engaging in a day of solo geologizing along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. At Two Mile Run Overlook, I gazed west toward the southern tip of Massanutten Mountain, and noted what appeared to be an anticline in the Blue Ridge foothills: Annotated: And here it is in Google Maps,  with the perspective rotated to looking ~along strike to the north, and I …

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24 July 2020

Friday fold: Totier Creek phyllite

Exploring his new digs in Charlottesville, Callan is introduced to a large exposure of phyllite at a dam’s spillway. The foliation there is folded in many ways. Share in a dozen field photos of the site…

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22 March 2019

Friday fauxld: concentric weathering rinds

Here’s a deceptive Friday “faux”ld I saw last week on the South Page Valley Road whilst learning about the Martinsburg Formation outcrops there: Looks like an isoclinal fold in this slab of siltstone, but the curvy lines are just concentric weathering rinds. Not a real fold at all! I hope everything you see this weekend is more straightforward and less deceiving. Happy Friday!

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20 March 2019

The Dinosaur Artist, by Paige Williams

A book review of Paige Williams’ “The Dinosaur Artist,” a tale of international trade in dinosaur skeletons.

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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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1 January 2019

2018 Yard List

New year’s day is the time I tally up and report the bird species seen in my yard on the forested slope of Massanutten Mountain in Shenandoah County, Virginia. This is my seventh such annual list. Here are the previous iterations: 2012 (39 species) 2013 (51 species) 2014 (58 species) 2015 (65 species) 2016 (59 species) 2017 (56 species) It’s been a good year. Two new “seen for the first …

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9 November 2018

Friday fold: gneiss from the Southside Virginia Piedmont

Reader and former student Paxton DeBusk shared this lovely folded gneiss with me at the conclusion of the Virginia Geological Field Conference a few weeks ago: That’s a lovely hand sample, with a high folding:volume ratio! Happy Friday, all

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