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22 September 2017

Friday fold: bend in a vesicular lava flow, Etna

It’s the First Friday of Fall! Here’s a sort of fold to help you celebrate: a section through a ∧ shaped bend in a vesicular basalt flow from the eastern flanks of Mount Etna in Sicily. It’s due to volcanic lava flowing rather than ductile deformation of a pre-existing solid rock (our usual habit with this feature), but I think we can appreciate it regardless:

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15 July 2017

Flow-banded rhyolite from Vulcano, Italy

I collected only a single rock on my summer travels in France and Italy. (Those of you who know me will realize how extraordinary this low number is!) It’s a flow-banded rhyolite from Vulcano, in the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily a few weeks ago. It contains porphyritic vesicular basalt xenoliths. I featured a similar sample on Twitter yesterday on the occasion (supposedly) of “International Rock Day”: For #InternationalRockDay , …

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1 May 2017

Accretionary lapilli from Archean volcanic eruptions

Volcanic “hailstones” called accretionary lapilli rained down on South Africa 3 billion years ago, and have survived to be seen in the present day, along the R40 road through Barberton Mountain Land, near the Bulembu border crossing into Swaziland.

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26 April 2017

Pseudocraters at Lake Mývatn, Iceland

Near the southern end of Lake Mývatn, astride the Mid-Atlantic Rift in northern Iceland, lies a field of “pseudocraters” that result from steam explosions beneath a fresh lava flow. Put on your head-net and join us to check it out!

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2 March 2017

A virtual field trip to the Grind of the Navir

On the northwestern coast of the Northmavine Peninsula of Shetland, there is an unusual coastal landform: a gate-like entrance to an elevated amphitheater, like something out of Tolkien, and a storm beach of slab-like boulders inland of that.

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1 February 2017

An oddball at Eshaness

In eastern Shetland, the sea chews away at the innards of a Devonian stratovolcano. But there’s an odd visitor there too – and we’re not talking about the blogger.

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11 January 2017

More Messengers from the Mantle

Since I showed off the 3D kimberlite intrusion breccias yesterday, I feel as if I owe you some other photos from that lovely exhibit at the IGC. I apologize for the poor quality of these photos – the gorgeous samples were behind glass and brightly lit, which made photography difficult. But the rocks are sooooooooo pretty, I think you’ll enjoy viewing them just the same. Let’s start with a gargantuan …

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5 December 2016

Cinder cones in Iceland (with lichen)

What makes an Icelandic cinder cone even better? A coating of fuzzy lichens, perhaps…

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24 October 2016

GIGAmacro views of komatiite

Erik Klemetti posted today at Eruptions about komatiite, which is apropos, considering I just finished imaging some samples of that ultramafic volcanic rock. Have a look at three samples from Barberton Greenstone Belt here, each from the 3.27 Ga Weltevreden Formation: Link GigaPan by Callan Bentley Link GigaPan by Callan Bentley Link GigaPan by Callan Bentley And, while we’re at it, here’s one from the Red Lake Greenstone Belt (~3.0 …

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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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