Happy Equinox!

It’s almost the equinox at least –in just two days it will be fall. And I’m so proud of myself that I’m actually writing something after only a month since my last post.

That’s because… I have NEWS! I just returned from a two week trip, during which I spent 6 days on the east coast, visiting and shooting some amazing geology. Too bad it rained most of my first three days, but I still managed to get some good photos anyway, including the Champlain Thrust fault in Burlington, Vermont and some gorgeous glaciofluvial potholes carved into Ordovician gneiss at Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.

Glaciofluvial pothole in Ordovician Collinsville Gneiss, Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts Berkshires (220906-15)

And on reaching Virginia, the weather cleared! I got to visit Natural Chimney’s park before driving into West Virginia –and then into Maryland –where I got to ogle the amazing syncline at Sideling Hill. From there I drove to Gettysburg, PA for a sobering few hours–and then onto Wilmington, Delaware. THERE ARE COOL ROCKS IN DELAWARE! I also saw an estuary in New Jersey and then drove to Washington, DC, where I visited Great Falls Park on the Potomac and spent the night in an airport hotel.

Mississippian clastic rocks of the Rockwell and overlying Purslane Formations, folded into a near-upright syncline at the Sideling Hill roadcut on I-68 in Maryland (220908-110)

Then on to Florida, where I visited my mother –and saw Lake Okeechobee on the way! I’d never before seen Lake Okeechobee except on a map –and suddenly, boom! There it was outside my window!

Aerial view of Lake Okeechobee, Florida (220910-8.9)

On the way home, I stopped in Fort Collins to visit my daughter –and took advantage of one morning where I bombed over to Scotts Bluff National Monument for a lovely hike among some even lovelier rocks, all of Oligocene to Miocene age.

Cliffs of flat-lying Oligocene White River Group and overlying Oligocene-Miocene Arikaree Group overlooking the Great Plains, Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska (220916-37)

So here’s the best part –actually the worst, but it will make much better reading than the itinerary I just listed. I shot some 5 zillion photos of which I selected about 100 to add to my website. During much of the time in Florida and then Colorado, I processed and captions these images–which is a lot of work, actually, especially if you’re trying to be specific about a rock’s age and formation name and you need to look it up. Then on the plane ride home I transferred all my files from my laptop to my external drive and LOST ALL THE METADATA! So I spent much of yesterday recreating the captions and re-processing everything. But now, I’m happy to say that there are 101 new photos on the site.

Yay! phew!


Catching up?

So it’s been three years now since my last post –more than three years– and WordPress has subtly shamed me into writing something. So here goes… I can’t possibly “catch up” in any meaningful way, but I’ll say something at least.

This site has grown by more than 1000 photos since I last posted, with the addition of some older re-discovered photos and a lot from more recent adventures. For the most part, those trips have largely been in the Pacific Northwest, California, and Colorado –places I tend to frequent because I live in the Pacific Northwest, and I have one daughter in California and another in Colorado! They also coincide with my research, writing, and teaching interests–which reminds me… I left off Montana! I still teach part of our field class in Montana.

So here are some highlights –from left to right above. We saw this beautiful fault propagation fold in the Grinnell Formation while on a hike in Glacier National Park this summer as part of our field camp. I completed two book projects with Mountain Press, one of which brought me to Colorado as coauthor with Magdalena Donahue at the helm. And my grad student, Addison Richter, is doing her field work in the North Cascades of Washington–that’s Mt. Shuksan in the photo. Both photos are available here for download.

And there’s always Death Valley. Type “Death Valley” (or just “death” if you like) into the keyword search and you’ll get over 300 hits –some 100 since my 2019 post.

An old photo recently posted: Canoer on flooded Badwater Basin in April, 2005

And there’re all those airplane shots. I’m able to visit my mother several times each year who lives in SW Florida –and sometimes get lucky with great views on my travels! Type “aerial” into the keyword search if you want to see them.

Aerial view of Split Mountain Anticline and Dinosaur N.Monument, Utah-Colorado border.

There’s more to come. Today I visit a dear friend on the Oregon Coast and will visit our field class there tomorrow –before driving to northern Washington to visit my grad student who’s completing her mapping near Mt. Shuksan in the North Cascades. And shortly after returg, I’m off to visit my mom again in Florida. This time though, I’m going there by way of the east coast so I can learn about (and photograph) some Appalachian geology!


Hi from Dillon, Montana

Field camp, 2019

It’s our last day in Dillon –we’ve been here for about the last ten days, mostly focused on mapping an area called Block Mountain. It’s got to be one of the most amazing places geologically I’ve seen! The basic structure of part of the area is a plunging anticline and syncline –formed as fault propagation folds above the large Hogback thrust that’s exposed to the south.
Here’s an aerial view!

Fault propagation folds in SW Montana looking northward down plunge. You can see a syncline just east of the anticline

But there’s so much more! And so many cool things to see! Below is just a sampling of the many interesting rocks and structures that I added to the site. You should be able to find all of them searching for the date: 1907 –as in July of 2019–or if you type in “SW Montana”.

Upright syncline in Triassic limestone of the Dinwoody Formation, SW Montana (190711-18)
Water gap, Montana –the Big Hole River is cutting through a high ridge of Pennsylvanian Quadrant Formation. (190707-45)
Geology students and right-lateral fault in limestone, Montana (190707-14)
Clast-supported pebble conglomerate of the Cretaceous Kootenai Formation, Montana. (190708-7)
Red-colored, coarse clastic beds, of the Cretaceous Kootenai Formation, Montana (190709-14)

Happy June 1

Aerial view of salt evaporators, San Francisco Bay, California

Seeing that I’ve gotten so far behind in “news” for my website, I thought I’d celebrate June 1 a day early. It’s the end of week 9 of our quarter, it’s warm outside, and… it FEELS like June!

With this photo, and the ones that accompanied it, the site now has more than 3500 searchable images. I shot it from my plane window a couple weeks ago just before landing in the San Francisco Airport. It’s of the salt evaporation ponds in southern San Francisco Bay.

Speaking of taking shots from airplanes… I’ve had some great luck with it this year, especially in the San Francisco Bay area –check out this image of the San Andreas fault AND the San Francisco Peninsula!

Aerial view northward of San Andreas fault zone and San Francisco; San Francisco Bay on the east. The fault zone cuts diagonally along the two linear reservoirs in the bottom half of the photo.

June happens to be the month for my photo of a basaltic dike in Maine to show in our departmental calendar. Yay! It was probably my favorite image from 2018 –I took it last summer when some old friends from grad school took me around to some islands off the Maine coast. Definitely an inspiring day –made me want to write “Roadside Geology of Maine” –hahaha! We’ll see about THAT! Anyway, here’s the photo!

Basaltic dike cutting late NeoProterozoic Conglomerate, Maine

Meanwhile, I’ve been teaching (Structural Geology this spring quarter) and slowly making project on my new book project –about interesting geologic localities in Oregon. I’ve been to some amazing spots, including Wolf Rock in the western Cascades just last weekend. I’d never seen this place before –and it’s amazing!

Wolf Rock, a Neogene norite intrusion in the western Cascades, Oregon

And now it’s late August?

My goal this summer was to take it easy and learn how to relax. I’m not sure I’ve succeeded because I still feel this urge to blast off to work as soon as I get up. I’ve been working on my “Oregon Rocks!” book, consistently, but making slow progress just the same. I posted a vignette about Devil’s Punchbowl on my blog on July 23 –and today posted one about Hug Point. Both these places, on the Oregon Coast, will be included in my book –and they’re both pretty amazing. Please take a look!

And I’ve been trying to get the word out about this website through Instagram. I’m not sure if that’s working, but I’m having fun? And the other day I posted my first photo that attained more than 1000 views.  Yay! It’s of this rock: A disharmonically folded gneiss.

But the big news, is that I leave for … Iceland in just a few days! Yes… I do plan to take a lot of photos –and I’ll post them here after I’m back. In the meantime, check me out on Instagram! Try “GeologyEverywhere“. Woohoo!

Hi from …June?

June 12, 2018. Yikes! My last post was in January?

A lot’s happened since. Among other things, I’ve traveled to Greece on a U of Oregon geology field trip, spent nearly 2 weeks in Death Valley, traveled to North Carolina to give a talk at Appalachian State University –and taken a lot of photos that I’ve put on the website –which now accesses more than 3000 images! Here’s one of my favorites, from a long hike in the Grand Canyon in mid-May:


The photo shows the angular unconformity between the Cambrian Transgressive Sequence and tilted Proterozoic rock in the Grand Canyon–what’s more, the Tapeats Sandstone, at the base of the Cambrian, pinches out against the brown knob of Shinumo Quartzite on the right, which persisted as an island during the Cambrian Transgression. I blogged about unconformities too –have a look!

It’s now less than ten days before the summer solstice. I’ve intentionally NOT been making plans as I’m hoping to slow things down a bit. Still, I’m planning trips to Maine in July, maybe Iceland in early September, and Death Valley in November–not to mention shorter Oregon trips to photograph things for my new book project.

Hi from New Zealand!

I’ve been here on the North Island a week now –first Auckland, and now Rotorua. Tomorrow we go to Turangi for another week. Turangi’s on the south side of Lake Taupo, which fills a gigantic caldera that erupted some 1800 and 26,500 years ago respectively. Those were big eruptions–the most recent erupted more than 100 cubic km –the older one erupted more than 1000 cubic km! It’s all part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone –the most active rhyolitic province on Earth.

The theme of this trip is volcanoes–I’ve joined up with a group from Centre College (Danville, KY)–so along with some wonderful companionship, I’m getting to see –and photograph! –many very cool features. I just posted images from White Island, an andesitic volcano that built itself up from the seafloor. It was an amazing trip, with a spectacular landslide deposit, pyroclastic deposits and fumaroles spouting through SULFUR chimneys! Type “White Island” into the search to see more. Or type “New Zealand” to see others. I’ll be continuing to add photos for the next few weeks –so check back frequently!

I leave the group on Jan 20 and head to Wellington –from there, I’ll be on the South Island traveling with my friend Megan.



Images from latest trip push resource to 2500+

Happy Thanksgiving! I just got back from visiting my daughter in Denver –and just before that had been driving through parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia –and taking photos of rocks! After adding the good ones to this site, I saw that the keyword search now accesses more than 2500 images. Yay! The site’s growing!

I had two especially great days for geology photography. The first was a field trip in and around the Grandfather Mountain Window near Boone, North Carolina. I photographed a variety of structural and metamorphic features, including mylonites, stretched pebble conglomerates, and augen gneiss. The other was Thanksgiving Day itself, when I went to Dinosaur Ridge near Denver, Colorado and walked along dipping beds of sandstone of the Cretaceous Dakota Formation. Wow… ripples, dinosaur footprints, block-glide failures.

And they’re all here–Please take a look!

Everglades aerial shots posted

October 28, 2017. Just posted 28 aerial photos of the Florida Everglades –I shot them in March, 2016 when my friend Dick Jacobs and I chartered a small plane to take us over that amazing landscape. The photos include a lot of cool images of mangrove swamps, islands, sand shoals, and low-gradient rivers (really low gradient rivers!) Here’s my favorite photo from the day. Type “Everglades, Aerial” into the search to see the rest!

Aerial view of island in mangrove swamp, Everglades National Park, Florida (160330-95)

Fresh photos!

October 16, 2017. I guess I’m excited at this new site. I just posted 5 new photos that I shot TODAY. Two are of springs gushing out of the middle of a basalt flow on the McKenzie River in Oregon –and three are of drowned trees in Clear Lake.

Those drowned trees are exciting, actually. They’re about 2700 years old –and died when a lava flow blocked the upper reaches of the McKenzie River to form Clear Lake. As Clear lake deepened behind the lava dam, it drowned the trees. The lake’s name is well-deserved: you can see the trees right down to the lake’s bottom.

Here’s one of the images –type “Clear Lake” into the Keyword Search to see the others! –Or type “Tamolitch” into the search to see the springs (or type “springs, Oregon” for that matter)