Big money machines: A day of geochemical analysis at USGS Reston

I really thought that I’d be more nervous using the 27-year-old $1.5 million Microprobe. The monitors’ flickering should have been enough to induce an epileptic episode and the combined age/cost knowledge was making my stomach turn. But, there I was, programming in >100 points on my petrographic thin section for the machine to zap and measure the chemical properties of the minerals from my samples.

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Are we in the Smith River Allochthon?: A geologic trope through Gladstone

This week I posed as a Gladstone Gladiator (my research advisory cohort of 4 structural geologists) in the Gladstone quadrangle to gain field experience and help with data collection for their USGS EDMAP project. The Gladiators’ goal is to map the 7.5 minute quadrangle’s geologic components over the course of the next year, and my goal was to practice my field methods over the course of a week. There was no diamictite evident, but most rocks exhibited a fair amount of strain and that satisfied my research theme of the summer just fine.

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