Mountain Beltway's Latest Posts
Here’s what the Sideling Hill road cut looked like last month: It’s a terrific example of a syncline. Usually I show folds in profile view, but here, the view is essentially perpendicular (not parallel) to the axis of the fold: Sideling Hill’s rocks are early Mississippian in age, made of debris shed off the late Devonian Acadian Orogeny, and they were folded during Alleghanian deformation in the Pennsylvanian-Permian.
I found this interesting looking slab of gray limestone last summer in the Bridger Range of Montana, in one of the talus slopes on the north side of Sacagawea Cirque. The high-contrast pattern reminded me of something, but I couldn’t say quite what. Then I realized: it looks like one of those indigenous pictographs, where the artist puts their hand up to the rock and spits paint all over it, …
Back to Texas, today. Here’s a cross-sectioned Turitella snail from the Buda Formation limestone: It’s exposed in a block of rock on the north side of Mt. Cristo Rey. You can explore these GigaPanned blocks of the Buda in search of your own Turitella… How many can you find? link link link
As noted previously, I live in a regional scale fold: the differential erosion of the Massanutten Synclinorium has produced the ridge of Massanutten Mountain, which separates the Fort Valley from the Shenandoah and Page valleys on either side. The Fort is “fort” like because the strata which underlie it are relatively friable, soluble, or otherwise erode-able. The ridge-forming layer is the Massanutten Sandstone, a Silurian-aged quartz arenite. Here’s a boulder …
A sure sign of the advent of spring in Fort Valley is the blooming of the shadblow, an understory tree species with clusters of white flowers: My wife and I took our son for a hike yesterday, and the shadblow was pretty much the only tree with anything on its branches: I infer that shadblow is named for the fact that its flowers “blow” (bloom) when the shad swim upstream …
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