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.


  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?

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

  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.

  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...

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


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