Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Geology of Botetourt County

A very long time ago, I thought about being a geologist. When I was around 10, I collected rocks, mostly quartz, and hoarded them in a little crevice in a rock shelf along the creek of my father's farm. For all I know, they are still there.

That career has gone on by me, but I am still fascinated by rocks. Unfortunately, I do not know all of the geological time periods or the proper language to speak about such things. It has been a long time since I had any kind of Earth Science class.

Botetourt County is surrounded by and includes mountains. I look out my windows every day at Tinker Mountain, North Mountain, Stone Coal Gap, and Caldwell Mountain.




The mountains are rugged and heavily forested. In our area, we have a lot of limestone and something called "karst" topography.

It looks like this:





Karst topography is characterized by sinkholes and caves. The rock is usually limestone. Groundwater carves out the caverns. Water aquifers beneath the rocks often contribute to sinkholes.

5 comments:

  1. Beautiful vistas. Geology? I have a strong interest in Archaeology. I visited the Louvre (yes, it was amazing) and the antiquities were fascinating to me. I suppose rocks are the ultimate antiquity, aren't they?

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  2. I don't know...you sound like a geologist to me : )
    It all makes for some very interesting and beautiful landscape.

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  3. When I was young, I'd walk through the fields and along the creek collecting pretty rocks. I loved the quartz with mica in it.

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  4. I'm fascinated by rocks too. In fact, I like rocks so much I've spent $$$ buying them for landscaping. The locals laugh at us, and have told us we could just pick them up by the river. They're probably right...

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  5. Our youngest son majored in Geology and absolutely loved it. I wish I knew more than I do!

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