La Costa del Sol y la Sierra Nevada

From June 2, 2013

Hola! We are currently driving on a tortuous road through the Carratraca Massif, en route to Ronda, where we will stay for the night. John Platt, my “academic grandfather”, is riding shotgun (he was my academic advisor’s academic advisor). His contagious enthusiasm for geology has died down for the moment, so our car is quiet. Whitney is driving and Jason and I are in the back. I can feel the heat of sunburn radiating off the tops of my feet, a sure sign of the revival of last summer’s fading Chaco tan. Although some of the contrast might just be dirt…It’s taking me a long time to type this (on my phone) because there are some pretty spectacular views out the window:

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The view en route to Ronda through the Sierra Bermeja.

But now I’ve been called on to finish the drive to Ronda, so I’ll finish this post later…

We met up with John and Jason in Almuñecar a few days ago after an eventful day of exploring the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. We went up Rio Chico to look at a place where Whitney collected a sample of Tahal Schist that I have been working on for the past few months – more on that later. We also drove up to a high point via Rio Poquerria.

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The Sierra Nevada from Puerta de la Ragua (a pass through the Sierra Nevada)

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Hopefully this river carries away the snow melted off the top of the Sierra so I can see the rocks up there in a few days!

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Poppies near the Rio Chico

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A bridge over the Rio Chico, where one of the samples I am working on comes from.

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Rio Chico

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A water-polished piece of Tahal Schist, basically the same as the sample I have been working on for the past several months.

We met up with Jason and John in Almuñecar to tour the heavily deformed Alpujarride Complex of the Betic Cordillera. We have seen tons of folds, garnets, andalucites, etc:

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The rocks tend to be best exposed on nice beaches…there seems to be a trend here.

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The long, pink crystals are andalucite, named after Andalucia.

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Garnet gneiss!

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Later on in the day, we headed for higher elevations. This is a view of the hilltop castle of Motril.

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A cyclist rips down the road towards the Med.

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So many rocks to look at…

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A back-tilted ramp anticline, AKA almost vertical limestone!

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The buttress unconformity! Sediments deposited against the tilted limestones. Probably lots of rad climbing routes too…

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Big tourmaline crystals!

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Migmatite

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John looking at peridotites

That’s all for now! My computer doesn’t seem to feel like downloading anymore photos from my camera for some reason. Posting from Estepona on the Costa del Sol. Good night.

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