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2 March 2014

A chip off the ol’ charnockite

We visited the Philip Carter Winery this weekend with family. Baxter and I were pleased to see outcrops of charnockite scattered over the property (located in the middle of the Blue Ridge geologic province). As any 18-month-old will tell you, charnockite is a pyroxene-bearing granitoid. It’s a distinctive and common rock type in Virginia’s Proterozoic basement complex. Here’s a close-up: The dark green is pyroxene. The white is plagioclase feldspar. …


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26 November 2013

Geology of RdV vineyard and winery

Last month, I led a fun new tour for the Smithsonian Associates: an all-day tour of the geology of Virginia wine country. Wine-making is a bigger-and-bigger business in Virginia these days, and I’ve been exploring it on and off over the past few years, ever since participating on a wine-themed geology field trip through the Geological Society of Washington. So we got a bus, and I waxed on about the …


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2 May 2013

A coiled nautiloid, namesake of a vintage

Callan and his family visit a Virginia winery that features tasty libations and chunky nautiloid fossils, both products of the same local geology…


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