Florence Bascom Geoscience Center

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A USGS Research Geologist collects detrital muscovite from 13,000-year-old sediment at Horseshoe Farm, on the South Anna River
December 31, 2014

Collection of Detrital Muscovite at Horseshoe Farm

Ryan McAleer, USGS Research Geologist, collects detrital muscovite from 13,000-year-old sediment at Horseshoe Farm, on the South Anna River, in the epicentral area of the 2011 M5.8 earthquake.  Geochronologic age data using the using the Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) method on sand grains from this sediment and other deposits throughout the Central Virginia

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An outcrop-scale brittle fault exposed on the shore of Lake Anna in the vicinity of the Dominion North Anna Power Plant.
December 31, 2014

Outcrop-Scale Brittle Fault, Lake Anna

An outcrop-scale brittle fault exposed on the shore of Lake Anna in the vicinity of the Dominion North Anna Power Plant.  The fault offsets a pegmatite dike within biotite granitic gneiss by about 1 meter, in a reserve (top-to-east) sense-of-motion.  The small fault is oriented 235°, with a dip of 30° to the northwest (view is to south in this photograph).  

USGS Collaborators Mary sample sediment from a high-level terrace deposit about 200 feet above the James River, VA
December 31, 2014

Sampling Sediment from a Terrace Deposit Above the James River, VA

USGS Collaborators from Virginia Division of Geology and Mineral Resources and College of William and Mary sample sediment from a high-level terrace deposit about 200 feet above the James River in Cumberland County, Virginia, for age dating using the terrestrial cosmogenic nuclides (TCN) method.  This work was a collaborative effort between the Virginia Department of Mines

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An outcrop of basal conglomerate of the Cretaceous Potomac Group just east of the Fall Line in central-eastern Virginia.
June 23, 2014

Outcrop of Basal Conglomerate, Cretaceous Potomac Group

An outcrop of basal conglomerate of the Cretaceous Potomac Group just east of the Fall Line in central-eastern Virginia.  New geochronologic age control on both the fine-grained sediment and unique volcaniclastic clasts within the deposit shed light on Neoproterozoic rocks that were completely eroded from the Piedmont landscape during the Cretaceous.  The Potomac Group is

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Field crews on a Florida Bay island
April 14, 2014

Florida Bay island sediments reveal past, may foretell future

Field crew on Bob Allen Key in Florida Bay, Everglades National Park, April 14, 2014, conferring on next steps near core sites marked with orange flags.  The mangroves that form the islands’ perimeter are to the left and in the background. Photo: Anna Wachnicka, FIU [left to right: Lynn Wingard, Marci Marot, Christopher Bernhardt, Terry McCloskey, and James Murray,

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View looking east from the Virginia Blue Ridge across the Rock Castle Creek gorge to the rolling hills of the Piedmont
May 14, 2013

Rock Castle, VA

View looking east from the Virginia Blue Ridge across the Rock Castle Creek gorge to the rolling hills of the Piedmont.

The Piedmont and Blue Ridge provinces extend from southeastern New York to Alabama and include parts of eleven states in the Eastern U.S. and part of Washington, D.C (Figure 1).Blue Ridge physiography is characterized by the highest topography east

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Scientists collect cores on the Savannah River, December 2012
December 10, 2012

Savannah River, December 2012

Scientists collect cores on the Savannah River (December 2012). 

Panoramic view of the Blue Ridge (Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee)
October 3, 2012

Blue Ridge of Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee

Panoramic view (~270 degrees) looking across the Blue Ridge of Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee (from left to right).  The Valley and Ridge is in the distance (gap between mountains). 

The Piedmont and Blue Ridge provinces extend from southeastern New York to Alabama and include parts of eleven states in the Eastern U.S. and part of Washington, D.C. Blue Ridge

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Panoramic view looking southeast across the Blue Ridge of Virginia and North Carolina.
October 3, 2012

Blue Ridge of Virginia and North Carolina

Panoramic view looking southeast across the Blue Ridge of Virginia and North Carolina.  The mountains in the distances are underlain by amphibolite of the eastern Blue Ridge. 

Click HERE to learn more about the 

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Picture of the Outer Banks in South Carolina, November 2011
November 3, 2011

Outer Banks in South Carolina, November 2011

Picture of the Outer Banks in South Carolina, November 2011 

Picture of the Outer Banks at sunset in South Carolina, November 2011
November 3, 2011

Outer Banks in South Carolina, November 2011

Picture of the Outer Banks in South Carolina, November 2011. 

The sun begins to set through the trees within the Outer Banks
November 2, 2011

Outer Banks in South Carolina, November 2011

The sun begins to set through the trees within the Outer Banks, South Carolina (November 2011).