For this month’s Accretionary Wedge, Geosciblog asks:
“What do you regret leaving behind at a geological locality?
In other words, what samples, specimens, or even photographs do you regret “not getting enough of”?”
This past February, I had the pleasure of traveling to Death Valley, CA for a 12-day field course through SUNY Oneonta. On our last full day, we had the opportunity to choose where we wanted to explore, and having read a few hiking guide entries, I decided to hike part of Marble Canyon (36.610386° N, 117.240600° W)
My first ‘wow’ moment occurred when I stumbled across a fantastic zone of crinoid hash. Now crinoids are nothing new to me, I live in New York so crinoid fossils are a way of life, but these particular specimens were fairly large, deformed!. I had assumed that with all the guidebook entries, and some of the remarkable geology present in the canyon, that there would have been more work done on the area. Sadly I was mistaken, and it is because of this, that I wish I had more rock samples, photos and most of all, data.
In this case, I had no shortage of photographs (thought I certainly could have improved the quality), what I really regret is I took absolutely no measurements. None! I was too lost in my “free day” to think that I should try to determine the amount of deformation displayed.
The fossils were certainly interesting, but what really captured my attention was isolated cobbles/boulders of solid white marble that littered the wash. It looks pretty nondescript in sample photograph, but in the sun this marble was absolutely gorgeous. Nearly all calcite as far as I have been able to tell, the rock shone brightly in light. I only took a small sample home, and my first attempt at creating a thin section was unsuccessful. In hindsight I should have collected more, or at least larger samples.
I never found the marble in outcrop form, it must have been further up in the canyon but someday I’m going back there to find it! Moral of the story for me is that if I find something in the field that really captures my interest, I should do everything I can to collect as much data, photographs, and samples, in order to satisfy any inquires I may have in the future.
Anyways, that is enough ramblings for my first post, I think I’ll end this with a couple more photographs from the canyon.