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January 7, 2019

LiDAR-based hillshades show details of thin “slab-slides” in Appalachian Valley and Ridge

Hillshade imagery from a new LiDAR dataset provides an incredibly detailed look at landslides of unknown age within the Valley and Ridge province.


November 12, 2018

Tectonics, heavy rain, and the cross section of nightmares

A YouTube viewer asked if I could make this style, which is strongly associated with parts of the sub-Andes fold-thrust belts in Colombia and southern Peru. I looked at some papers and gave it a shot!


November 6, 2018

Resurrecting buried faults along Jamaica’s south coast

In this model, I tried to reproduce a structural style that it is clearly expressed in some very interesting landforms–the Santa Cruz and Don Figuerero Mountains of southern Jamaica.


October 24, 2018

Geologic context of the “bottomless” plunge pool at Bath Fountain, Jamaica

I stuck my iPhone (in a Lifeproof case) into the pool with the camera recording video to see just how deep it was. For whatever reason, I didn’t look at the video while I was at the pool…I wish I had.


October 18, 2018

Twist hackles, kayaks, and stream capture…for real!

This week’s post was inspired by the photo below. Seldom will you see such lovely patterns generated by tensional failure of any material, much less polyethylene! If this type of feature is unfamiliar, just google “plumose structures” and you’ll find all you need.


October 12, 2018

Decollements, stratigraphic arguments…and rivers

This is another small material test model that ended up producing a cool result. The area of interest is circled in red here–a triple thickness of the lowest white layer in the stratigraphic sequence.


October 2, 2018

Model impact craters, from a structural geologist’s perspective

I have always wondered what would happen if the sandpacks I use for structural models were struck by a high-velocity projectile. This turns out to be a fairly easy question to answer if you have sand and a quality pellet gun…


September 21, 2018

Cove Mountain looks like a “2”…Part 3 (or Geology is even bigger than it looks!)

…large plunging folds make interesting shapes in erosional landscapes.


August 6, 2018

Normal or reverse? Tricky interpretations near high-displacement faults

I made this little compressional wedge model to test the mechanical contrast between various sands. The results weren’t quite what I was hoping for, but one very interesting geometry occurred just below the “backstop” thrust sheet.


July 25, 2018

A “duct tape and WD-40” approach to digital topography and geologic mapping

By Philip S. Prince Google Earth is amazing, but sometimes tree cover and land use obscure subtle but significant surface features critical to mapping and interpretation. Digital elevation and terrain models provide a way around this, but without ArcScene, SketchUp, or a similar program they lack the 3-D reality of Google Earth in oblique perspective. Addtionally, hillshade terrain models can produce an inversion effect for observers when seen in plan …