Sunday 12 April 2009

Lost In Spain #1

The laundry is done (thanks Paul). The sleep deficit is restored (thanks bed). The blood alcohol level is normalised (thanks tea). And after suffering some serious fieldtrip withdrawal (isn't it a bitch?!) I'm on the even keel and will try to blog a bit about what the point of the trip was. I'm hoping that some of my students will click through from Facebook and correct me on any inaccuracies (not least because they had to listen and make notes, whereas I could stare slack-jawed into space if I wished).

The base for the trip was Ainsa, northern Spain. It's one of the many gateways to the Pyrenees, but this was as close as we got to the famous mountains themselves:

Monte Perdido is on the very left, and in the middle are Tres Marias. This was essentially a sedimentology trip, with a bit of structural geology thrown in for good measure (and some bitchin' sequence stratigraphy). Most of the rocks were Eocene in age, corresponding to the collision of Iberia with France, and the foreland basins associated with the orogeny. The students got to see turbidites (including a megaturbidite):

They saw and logged turbidites and other marine sediments:

And they saw channels in the field:

Some of the more observant ones might have recognised some parallels between the rivers of the Eocene and the rather spiffy braided river flowing south through Ainsa:

They made stratigraphic logs (and unfortunately they are all too young to remember the Log Song), they mapped folds and they saw some pretty decent structure:

And the vertical fold at Broto was astounding, reminding me of a particular fold at Lulworth Cove on the south coast of the UK:

More on the fossils next time, for they were numerous and awesome.

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