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9 May 2017

Ripples in Foreknobs

The Foreknobs Formation is a Devonian unit in the Valley & Ridge province of the Mid-Atlantic Region. It was deposited in relatively shallow near-shore conditions during the Acadian Orogeny. On a field trip to Corridor H, a new highway transecting the West Virginian Valley & Ridge province on Monday, I stopped to document a couple of beds showing very nice ripple marks. These ones are symmetrical, and thus likely represent …

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21 April 2017

Friday (coal)d

Often I feature a fold photo here on Friday, but today I give you a folded coal, so therefore a “coald” – this is from the Pennsylvanian Conemaugh Formation on the Alleghany Plateau in West Virginia, near Bismarck. Photo by Sebastian Andres Kaempfe Droguett.

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17 April 2017

Liesegang rings in a natural sandstone “tile”

An easter egg on a piece of toast? No, it’s a nice example of Liesegang rings in a slab of sandstone. Explore more in this blog post.

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8 December 2016

Silent samples, holey samples

Two very different samples tell stories that are full of holes. What’s going on with this weathered sandstone? What’s going on with this fossil scallop shell?

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2 May 2016

3D models to spin and twist

More 3D models: digital facsimiles of real rock samples. Check them out and explore! Clinker from the Powder River Basin, Wyoming: Ripple marks from the Rose Hill Formation, West Virginia: Meta-komatiite from the Red Lake Greenstone Belt, northern Ontario, Canada:

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27 March 2016

Another trio of 3D models

Here are three more of my Photoscan-generated, Sketchfab-hosted 3D models of rock samples: Mud cracks in Tonoloway Formation tidal flat carbonates, Corridor H, West Virginia: Diorite from the eastern Sierra Nevada of California: Vein cross-cutting foliated & lineated gneiss, Blue Ridge basement complex, Virginia:

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17 February 2016

3D virtual sample of gastropod-rich Reynolds Limestone

Check this out: It’s a sample of the Reynolds Limestone, a member of the Mississippian-aged Mauch Chunk Formation, chock full of gastropod fossils. The image here is a 3D model made with Agisoft PhotoScan, a 3D model rendering program. The only input was a series of ~32 photos taken of the sample at various angles and orientations. Alan Pitts then posted it to his Sketchfab account, a place for displaying …

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15 January 2016

Friday fold: Harpers Ferry

The geology east of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, is cool. It’s Blue Ridge rocks, from basement to the cover sequence, tilted to the west and broken and repeated by the Short Hill Fault. Here’s a look at a detail of the Geology of the Harpers Ferry quadrangle by Southworth and Brezinski (1996). So there’s a fault! Good – but the title of this post isn’t “Friday fault” – Where’s the …

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8 December 2015

Considering the Spechty Kopf diamictite

I have known for a long time about a diamictite in the latest Devonian part of the Appalachian stratigraphic sequence, since it is exposed in the lowermost part of the section (western end of the outcrop) at Sideling Hill, Maryland. When I led field trips there, I talked students through the multiple possible origins for diamictites (sedimentary rocks that are poorly sorted, with significantly “outsized” clasts “floating” in a finer-grained …

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1 December 2015

Which way’s up? Check cavity fills.

When snail shells are deposited in a bunch of sediment, they serve as tiny architectural elements, with a “roof” that protects their interiors. Any sediment mixed into the shell’s interior will settle out (more or less horizontally), and then there will be empty space (filled with water, probably) above that. As burial proceeds and diagenesis begins, that pore space may be filled with a mineral deposit, such as sparry calcite. …

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