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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Back to the desert: Diamictite strain analysis explained

After a week of tromping around Virginia’s Piedmont backcountry, it was time to get back to get back to my metadiamictite from the Oman desert. The fresh air was a nice reset and I was able to come back to the McG TC with a crisp get-it-done drive.

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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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Strain analysis & geochronology of Neoproterozoic rocks, Ghubrah Bowl, Oman

Glacially deposited Neoproterozoic rocks (~700 million years old) crop out in the Sultanate of Oman and provide critical information regarding the Earth’s paleoclimate history. The depositional environment of these ancient sandstones and conglomerates within the Ghubrah Formation of the Jabal Akhdar Mountains has been well-researched, yet these are deformed rocks with a well-developed tectonic fabric that is poorly understood in the research community.

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